Local News

Authorities Credit Neighbor For Saving Harnett County Family

Posted February 11, 2003 6:06 a.m. EST

— A suspicious neighbor in Harnett County may have saved a woman's life.

A neighbor in the Carolina Hills subdivision off Highway 87 called 911 Tuesday to report some sort of domestic situation nearby. Deputies responded and realized it was a hostage situation.

Authorities said LaVerne Mandragon and two children, ages 4 and 3, were being held at gunpoint. Investigators said she was trying to leave her boyfriend, Otis Huff III.

Authorities said Huff had kept Mandragon captive since Monday night. The children were not involved in the hostage situation until Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies said at one point, Huff tried to strangle her before they arrived.

Deputies said Huff eventually released Mandragon and the children, and deputies stormed the home and arrested him.