ETX woman says she jumped from her ex-boyfriend's van to keep hi - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

ETX woman says she jumped from her ex-boyfriend's van to keep him from killing her

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Chelsea Phife, Source: Facebook Chelsea Phife, Source: Facebook
DIANA, TX (KLTV) - Chelsea Phife says Ryan Jacob Schmidt came to her house on May 30, 2014, kidnapped her, and said he was going to kill her. 

You might remember Schmidt's mugshot because we aired it that night in an attempt to help officials catch him. 

Phife survived the ordeal and says she can hardly believe a man she once loved, the father of her children, could do this to her, "I really did think that I was going to die. I thought that was it." 

It's been three weeks since Phife says Schmidt kidnapped her from her home in Diana, TX. Phife says she still isn't sure what his motive was, "I hadn't done anything. I never kept the kids from him. It was just out of nowhere."

She says Schmidt asked if he could stop by and see the kids that night. After a quick visit, the kids went inside. Phife says she will never forget what happened next. 

"I walked out there and he just turned around and he lunged out of the van. He grabbed me with one hand around my throat and he punched me in the face with the other. He got me in the van and he put his leg on my throat and he was hitting me in the face. He was like, 'You're going to die,'" says Phife. 

Phife says she tried to honk the horn, but no one inside the house heard her. The next thing Phife says she remembers is waking up in the back of the van. 

"He said, 'I'm going to kill you. You are going to die today. You'll never see those kids again,'" says Phife. 

Phife says she told Schmidt he could have full custody of their children, then realized he was not going to let her go.

"I sat there and I thought for a long time, 'Should I jump out that door?' He was like, 'If you're going to jump, you're going to die. I will kill you right now. I'll run over you I'll back up on you, you're going to die,'" says Phife, "I just opened up the door and I don't remember hitting the road or anything. I remember that I went out backwards though."

Phife says she might not be here today without the help of two strangers who stopped to pick her up, "They saved my life. Now that I know how bad it was, I probably would have laid there and bled to death or he would have come back."

They took Phife to a hospital in Pittsburg, a few miles from where she jumped out of the van. She was then flown to Tyler. 

"You never know what someone is capable of and what they can take from you in such a short time," says Phife. 

For now, Phife is focused on healing and saving money to move away from the constant reminders of that day. Still, she says her scars will never let her forget.

Ryan Jacob Schmidt was arrested in Titus County ten days after the alleged kidnapping. He is charged with aggravated kidnapping, harassment of a public servant and assault causing bodily injury. 

If you would like to help Phife pay her medical bills and raise money to move to a new home click here

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