Accused kidnapper dead; kidnap victim stabbed before rescue

A Leonville man who kidnapped his former girlfriend in Lafayette on Wednesday died Friday afternoon, hours after he was shot by a member of the kidnapped woman’s family who had joined Lafayette police in a search off Anderson Road, authorities said.

Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kip Judice said Scott Thomas was shot about noon after family members of Bethany Arceneaux discovered Thomas was holding Arceneaux in an abandoned house.

Once discovered, Judice said, Thomas began hurting Arceneaux,and one of her family members shot and wounded him. Arceneaux’s family was able to get her out of the house, where Thomas later died alone.

Judice said Arceneaux received medical treatment at a local hospital for stab wounds.

Officers with the Lafayette Police Department and Sheriff’s Office deputies surrounded the abandoned house after Thomas was shot, and waited.

Thomas and Arceneaux, both 29 years old, had a 2-year-old son together. Arceneaux was picking up the toddler at a Madeline Avenue day care at 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday when, police say, Thomas forced her into his white late-model Buick LeSabre and sped away, leaving the boy safely behind.

The LeSabre was found later that night on Anderson Road, located west of Scott between U.S. 90 and Interstate 10.

Judice said the Friday shooting occurred after Lafayette police joined members of Arceneaux’s family in searching of an area off Anderson Road. Police and the family “converged near a home about a mile from where the vehicle had been abandoned,” Judice said.

“At that point, one of the family members heard what they thought was a scream or a yell from inside the home” and broke into it, Judice said. The family member “went inside and confronted Mr. Thomas, who began injuring Miss Arceneaux,” Judice said, prompting Arceneaux’s family member to shoot Thomas and rescue Arceneaux.

Police surrounded the home, waiting for Thomas to surrender. Sheriff’s deputies entered the house about 3 p.m. and found Thomas dead, Judice said.

Police said they are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.