Man escapes after being tied up, beaten with frying pan and robbed

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- A woman is accused of tying up, gagging and beating an acquaintance with a frying pan when he went to her home to make sure she was safe, according to court records.

Mishawaka Police were dispatched to the 500 block of 4th Street on September 7 when nearby residents found a 61-year-old man who was naked, badly beaten and wearing a ball gag. The man had two black eyes, marks from being tied up on his wrists and ankles and blood on his face, reports said.

He was taken to the hospital where doctors found the victim had a broken arm and multiple broken ribs.

The victim told police around 2 a.m. he received messages from Mariah Conn-Wilhelm that were so despondent he feared for her safety and the safety of her 5-month-old child, reports said.

When he went to her apartment, Conn-Wilhelm became angry and hit the victim with a frying pan, reports said.

Conn-Wilhelm called a friend to come over. The friend helped Conn-Wilhelm tie the victim up and placed a ball gag in his mouth, reports said.

The victim was then beaten with several objects including a frying pan and a pistol, reports said.

He told police the beating went on for several hours while he was tied up. After a few hours, Conn-Wilhelm and her friend held a gun to the victim's head and told him to make a phone call, reports said.

The victim was forced to call a man named Austin, who was interested in purchasing property the victim owned, and once Austin agreed to purchase the property - to make out the $17,000 check to Conn-Wilhelm, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Austin was told to only contact Conn-Wilhelm about the property sale, reports said.

Conn-Wilhelm's friend left the apartment after the call.

The following day, while the victim was still tied up, Conn-Wilhelm arranged a time to pick up the check from Austin, reports said.

When Conn-Wilhelm left the apartment with her baby, the victim fled the apartment to seek help, reports said.

During a search of Conn-Wilhelm's home, police located dried red stains on the bathroom floor, kitchen floor, baby swing in the kitchen and the baby's pack and play in the living room, reports said.

In the kitchen ear the stove was a clump of hair consistent with the victim's hair, police said.

In the living room and kitchen, officers found a pair of black hand restraints, a blue rope and a chain, police said.

Inside the suspect's closet, officers located small baggies of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, police said.

Police did not find a crib in the home. The pack and play was in the living room next to the rope and chains where the victim was restrained and beaten, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Conn-Wilhelm spoke with Mishawaka Police about the incident. She allegedly admitted to beating the victim with a broom and frying pan, keeping him tied up in her apartment, held a gun to his head and forced Austin to write the check in her name, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Conn-Wilhelm has been charged with criminal confinement resulting in serious bodily injury, armed robbery, robbery resulting in bodily injury, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, intimidation, neglect of a dependent and possession of methamphetamine.

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