TEHEMA COUNTY, Calif. - The Tehama County Sheriff's Office is asking for any possible witnesses to come forward after they say a woman told them she had been punched over 50 times and choked by the suspect while traveling from Redding to Arizona on May 6.
Officials say a call from the victim came into the dispatch center just after 7 a.m. The woman was silent but dispatch could hear an agitated male in the background.
Deputies went to the cell phone's call location in the area of Tehama Vina Road and Highway 99E and say they found a white sedan with a "severely battered" woman in the passenger seat. The driver, identified as Kenneth Plyant, was immediately detained.
The woman was interviewed and officials say they learned she had been punched over 50 times in the face and head and had been choked and lost consciousness. She told Deputies the assault had been happening for the past several hours.
At one point, officials say, 44-year-old Plyant said he was going to kill her when he turned off the dirt portion of Tehama Vina Road.
The victim tried to escape from the car multiple times but Plyant would pull her back in.
Officials say the two were traveling from Redding to Arizona on Highway 99E and at one point, the woman shared she had been assaulted on the side of the Highway, somewhere south of Los Molinos.
The Sheriff's Office is asking for anyone who may have been traveling on the Highway between 2:30 a.m. and 7:17 a.m. to call their office at 530-529-7900. The suspect car was a white 4-door sedan pulling a pop-up travel trailer.
Plyant was arrested at the scene and booked into the Tehama County Jail on torture, kidnapping, terrorist threats, false imprisonment and domestic violence charges. His bail is set at $1.1 million.
The victim is currently in the hospital being treated for multiple injuries.