Ore. standoff ends after kidnapper uses victim as 'human shield'

HERMISTON, Ore. -- You could call it the best possible outcome to a kidnapping story out of Hermiston.

After being held against her will for nearly six days, Melody Mickel is safe and sound, but only after a standoff that had authorities across the state of Oregon working hard to bring her home alive.

Mickel was last seen Thursday morning, getting in the car with her ex-boyfriend Alberto Martinez outside the Hermiston Rite Aid where she worked.

There were no signs of her -- until an Oregon State Trooper spotted the car Tuesday afternoon near Crescent Lake, nearly 300 miles from where she was abducted. When the trooper tried confronting Martinez, authorities tell Action News the suspect barricaded himself in a cabin.

For four hours, hostage negotiators tried to convince Martinez to surrender, but in the end, he was shot by Oregon State Police. Authorities tell Action News Martinez was using Melody as a human shield. Amazingly she was not injured.

Martinez is now being treated for a non-life-threatening injury, but is expected to recover. He's now in custody on multiple charges.

Melody's mother says that knowledge alone gives her peace.

"He's going to be an old man if he ever gets out. For all the crimes he's committed."

But she says nothing compares to the relief she feels knowing her daughter is alive and well.

"It was like instant relief. My chest instantly relaxed. And I was so happy. I was ecstatically happy. I had a feeling in my heart that she was okay. And I believe in Jesus. And He told me she's okay. And that she will be returned to me."

Investigators say Melody is still giving statements to Oregon State Police. She is expected back home to Hermiston in the next few days.