Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girl Recounts Abduction by Ex-Boyfriend `I Don't Hate Him. . . . I'm Very Sorry He Died'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girl Recounts Abduction by Ex-Boyfriend `I Don't Hate Him. . . . I'm Very Sorry He Died'

Article excerpt

When romance ran amok, it dragged Ellen Palazzolo along for 300 miles.

She broke free only through the suicide of her abductor, her love-obsessed former boyfriend.

The terror began Wednesday morning when she took a break from her job at Denny's Restaurant in Woodson Terrace.

"He pulled out a gun, put it in my stomach and told me to get in the car," Palazzolo said in an interview after her return to the St. Louis area.

Palazzolo, 16, was near tears as she described the events that led to James Nelson Embry, 21, taking his life Thursday morning in Junction City, Kan.

"I don't hate him. . . . I'm very sorry he died," Palazzolo said. "He said he could not live without me, and he could not handle me being with someone else."

Palazzolo had known Embry since she was 7. They had dated in recent years, but that relationship ended last year when Embry went to jail on a rape charge.

When he was released earlier this year, Embry had difficulty watching Palazzolo date someone else. Embry lived across the street from Palazzolo in the 9200 block of Bataan Drive. He wore an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle and was allowed to leave his home only to go to his job in St. Peters.

Palazzolo said she saw Embry through the window of the restaurant and went outside to the parking lot to see what he wanted. She said she got into Embry's 1978 Pontiac Trans Am when she felt the .25-caliber handgun in her abdomen.

"He did not know where he was going," Palazzolo said. "He just wanted to get out of Missouri."

He first drove her to his job in St. Peters, where he got a check for $37.50. Then, the two drove to a bank and cashed the check.

Palazzolo said she did not resist because the gun was always in sight and Embry insisted that he wanted to talk to her and eventually would take her home.

But instead, she said, they drove west on Interstate 70 toward Kansas, stopping only for gas and snacks at McDonald's. …

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