Mormon missionaries escape man who beat, threatened them

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — Two Mormon missionaries say they were held hostage by a New Mexico man who punched, kicked and threatened them with a knife for several hours before they were able to escape.

Albuquerque police have charged 29-year-old Erwin Smith with kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the Feb. 10 incident.

The Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, identified the two missionaries as Zuniga Delgado and Michael Whitaker with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the missionaries had offered to help Smith move after meeting him at a bus stop, but once inside his apartment Smith drank heavily and made suicidal comments before abusing and threatening the pair. Neither required medical attention.

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