HOUSTON - A 30-year-old Houston man is
set to appear in federal court on charges of kidnapping of an employee with the
U.S. Postal Service (USPS), announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. The
victim was later found deceased.
A criminal complaint was filed under
seal Nov. 20, 2017, charging Don Gaines, 30, with kidnapping. Federal
authorities arrested him today, at which time the complaint was unsealed. He is
expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacey at 10:00 a.m.
The charges allege that Gaines did
unlawfully seize, confine, kidnap, abduct and carry away the victim without her
consent from Texas to Louisiana for the purpose of killing her or disposing of
her body. The victim had been reported missing after she had not shown up for
work for two days.
According to the criminal complaint,
Gaines worked at the same location as the victim at the time of the alleged
crime and was the father of her two children.
On or about Sept. 11, 2017, Gaines
allegedly choked the victim in her car and he believed she was dead. However,
while transporting her, the woman regained consciousness, according to the
charges. Gaines allegedly continued to transport her against her will. The
criminal complaint alleges that during the trip, Gaines stopped the car along
the feeder road of Interstate 10, took the victim into the woods where he shot
her in the head and abandoned her body.
If convicted, Gaines could potentially
face the death penalty.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service
conducted the investigation along with the Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, and
Harris County Sheriff’s Offices; Louisiana State University; Louisiana State
Police and the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Jocher and Jim McAlister are prosecuting