Sheriff: Man detained en route to kidnap, murder

Credit: Lancaster County Detention Center

Joseph Ray Hegler

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by WCNC.com Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on May 12, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 11:01 AM

LANCASTER, S.C. -- A tip to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office may have saved someone's life.

On Sunday, the Sheriff's Office received information about a man's alleged plot to commit a kidnapping and murder.

Investigators say 19-year-old Joseph Ray Hegler had been planning to kill another man for several weeks, and planned to execute his plot on Sunday. Authorities say the intended victim is now dating Hegler's ex-girlfriend.

The Sheriff's Office says they conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by Hegler on Sunday and made a chilling discovery.

Hegler was wearing rubber gloves and was carrying many weapons at the time of the traffic stop, according to the Sheriff's Office.

In addition, investigators say they found items in the vehicle that corroborated the tip that Hegler planned to kidnap and murder someone: gloves, duct tape, handcuffs, a flashlight, a skinning knife, a change of clothes, trash bags, bleach, gasoline and an axe.

Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said, "We are extremely fortunate that someone came forward with the information needed to get this investigation started.  We are thankful that we were able to bring this investigation to a conclusion so quickly before Hegler was able to hurt someone. Job Well done."

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