A 26-year-old Minnesota woman escaped an abusive ex-boyfriend who trapped her inside a Nevada motel for six months, only to discover her mother died of cancer while she was imprisoned.
“I wanted to be there by her side,” Sheena Herschbach told KTNV-TV on Tuesday. “I wanted to help her, but I wasn’t able to.”
34-year-old Jason Greniger was arrested on Saturday and accused of second-degree kidnapping, as well as a Minnesota warrant on a felony charge of malicious punishment of a child. He is being held without bail and will be arraigned on Wednesday.
Herschbach told KTNV that Greniger locked her inside a motel in Mesquite, about 80 miles away from Las Vegas, and kept her in fear for her life.
“He threatened to kill me if I left him, so I didn’t know what else to do,” she said. “I was scared.”
Regardless, she made her way to a nearby library after Greniger sent her “to go get beer,” and contacted her sister via Facebook, arguing that police had failed to protect her in the past. Regardless, her sister alerted local authorities.
The St. George Spectrum reported that Herschbach obtained two restraining orders against her alleged captor. The first came on account of his physical abuse toward her and their two children, and led to Greniger being put in jail. The children were subsequently placed in foster care.
After he was released on parole, Greniger and Herschbach moved to Desert Hot Springs, California, where he was arrested again on abuse charges, and sent back to Minnesota to serve his sentence.
“I decided to break if off when he went back,” Herschbach told the Spectrum. “At that time, I was doing okay. Then one day, he showed up and brought me to Mesquite.”
Greniger moved Herschbach into two different motels in Mesquite, forcing her to work maintenance jobs alongside him at one location.
“I was afraid, I was always afraid,” Herschbach said to the Spectrum. “He would punch me, kick me, push me. He pushed me real hard and I fell down and sprained my ankle.”
Watch KNTV’s report on Herschbach’s ordeal, as aired on Tuesday, below.