While clearing a roadway, an officer heard yells for help and soon happened upon a bloodied and tied woman on an Oregon bridge, authorities said. The officer was sent to clear the Yaquina Bay Bridge of “construction materials” around 11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, according to an Oct. 24 news alert from the Newport Police Department, and soon heard the calls for help. They found the distressed woman with her hands “tied tightly behind” her back, police said. She had blood all over her face, as well as a cut on the back of her head.
After freeing the woman’s hands, she was taken to a hospital, police said. Officials from the police department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office “searched the area” but did not find “a suspect or witnesses,” Newport police said.
Through an investigation, police learned the woman was with Thomas Brannies, 34, police said. The pair went “down a discrete trail off of the main pathway within the Yaquina Bay State Park.” Brannies is accused of then striking the woman in the head with a weapon and tackling her to the ground, while telling her not to fight back or she “would continue to be assaulted,” according to police. Police said Brannies then “hogtied” the woman with “rope and shoe laces,” before leaving the area and taking the woman’s possessions.
The woman freed her feet and found her “way out of the park and onto the bridge,” where the officer found her, police said. After the woman gave information about the suspect and witnesses, along with a description of the car involved, police said they found the “suspect vehicle parked at JC Thriftway” at around 3 a.m. the next morning. Officers spoke with Brannies, along with witnesses, and identified him as the suspect, police said.