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Terrifying Start To New Life

‘Good Samaritan’ Bussoletti kidnapped along I-79 on way to Charleston

September 22, 2010
Mindy Bussoletti was hoping to make a nice, quiet move from Warren to Charleston, W.Va. That was spoiled when she was kidnapped 20 minutes before pulling into her new home. Bussoletti stopped to help a man who wrecked his car last August on I-79 and found herself held hostage in the U-Haul truck she rented to make the move from Warren to West Virginia. Matthew Jonathan Robey, 33, of Summerville, W.Va., was arrested and charged with Bussoletti’s kidnapping. He was found guilty last week and is due to be sentenced in late October. Robey faces 10 to 30 years in prison. Bussoletti left Warren at 9 p.m. the day of the kidnapping, driving a U-Haul truck that was towing her car. She was about 20 minutes from Charleston at 3:30 a.m. when she saw Robey’s car in the middle of the four-lane highway. It appeared to have been in an accident. “It was smashed up with no lights on,” Bussoletti said. Thinking someone might be injured, Bussoletti pulled over a mile down the road to call 911. Robey left the scene of the accident in his car and rammed the car Bussoletti was towing. Bussoletti got out of the U-Haul to exchange insurance information. She found Robey behind the wheel of his car with his window cracked, incoherent. “He was so drunk, he wasn’t saying a lot,” Bussoletti said. “I asked him about insurance and he flipped out.” Bussoletti said that Robey grabbed her while telling her he had a gun. She said Robey threatened to kill her. “He told me he stole the car he was driving,” Bussoletti said. “He told me I was going to drive him to the next exit and he would get out.” Bussoletti did as she was told, driving to the Amma exit on I-79. Robey insisted she keep driving down Amma Road for several miles before he decided they were going the wrong direction. He ordered her to turn around. According to Bussoletti, she pulled into a driveway of a house, but had trouble trying to turn the U-Haul and trailer around without jackknifing it. Robey got out to help direct her. She locked the doors and rolled up the windows and called 911 from the cell phone she kept hidden on her. When the resident of the house came out to investigate what was going on in his driveway, Robey fled. Shortly after, a West Virginia State Police officer arrived, interviewed Bussoletti and led her back to the interstate. On the way back to I-79, the officer spotted Robey lying in the middle of the road and arrested him. A 12-person jury convicted Robey last Wednesday after deliberating for about a two-hours. “She was truly a good Samaritan,” Roane County prosecutor Josh Downey said of Bussoletti following Robey’s conviction.

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