San Marcos woman kidnapped by man accused of stalking her for months

Stephen Milder (Austin Police Department)
Stephen Milder (Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman who filed numerous complaints against a man who she said was stalking and harassing her ended up being kidnapped by the man last week, according to an arrest warrant.

On June 22, the victim, Hillary Harris, texted her friend stating she had been kidnapped by Stephen Milder, 24, and that he was punching her whenever he saw her texting. The victim was able to relay the type of vehicle she was in and says Milder was driving her around in circles in West Campus and then somewhere on Oltorf Street.

When the friend contacted Austin police just after 10 p.m., they were able to use the department’s HALO cameras to track the car. But, police said there were long periods of time where the victim wouldn’t respond, only saying that “she was being threatened and couldn’t talk,” the affidavit continued.

Hillary Harris talks about being kidnapped and stalked by a man who became obsessed with her. (KXAN Photo)
Hillary Harris talks about being kidnapped and stalked by a man who became obsessed with her. (KXAN Photo)

Finally, when the victim told the suspect that police was looking for her, he brought her back to the 2000 block of San Gabriel Street, where officers were waiting. Since she was dropped off behind the building, the officers were not able to find him.

The victim told police she had known Milder since February of this year but they were only friends and were never romantically involved. However, the victim said the suspect became “obsessed” with her. She said she had to report him to police when he threw rocks at her apartment in San Marcos. According to court documents, the victim said she filed police reports regarding Milder with San Marcos police and Austin police but never got the protection she needed “due to the overlap in jurisdiction.”

“I just think after like after four or five times of the literal same reason I’m calling the cops, he should be flagged or like take me seriously,” said Harris. “I’m almost relieved that something happened finally to where I can be taken seriously by people who are not my immediate friends and family. I think the only reason I was taken seriously was because I was physically hurt. I even think if I wasn’t physically hurt, they wouldn’t have taken it as serious.”

The victim said two weeks before the kidnapping, she cut Milder out of her life and said his behavior became more erratic. She said she lived in fear, knowing that Milder stalked her.

Harris says she’s now in the process of getting an emergency protection order against him.

“I’m fearful for when he gets out. I’m fearful that he will not follow his rules or that he will somehow find me,” she added.

On the night of the kidnapping, she said she was walking to her friend’s place when Milder pulled up, got out and grabbed her. According to the affidavit, he told her, “If you love me, you will understand why I am doing this.”

Milder was eventually located and arrested a few hours later at his aunt’s home in Hutto. He is currently charged with aggravated kidnapping.

For more information about stalking, visit the Stalking Resource Center online. To learn more about domestic violence and legal assistance in Texas, click here. 

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