Illegal weapons found in home of alleged kidnapper | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Illegal weapons found in home of alleged kidnapper

Jody Rice

Numerous assault weapons were reportedly confiscated Monday from the home of a Carson City man suspected of attempting to kidnap a female hitchhiker a day earlier at Lake Tahoe.

The suspect, Douglas Gildark, 38, is likely to face felony kidnapping and weapons violation charges in two states, pending review of arrest reports by prosecutors in three counties. Charges are also possible against his 41-year-old wife, Marie.

Many questions remain unanswered as the investigation continues to unfold.

Based on initial reports, investigators believe Gildark picked up his victim, a 21-year-old Homewood woman, at about 1:30 p.m. as she hitchhiked along State Route 28 near Tahoe City. The victim’s name was not released.

The suspect allegedly ordered the woman at gunpoint to the floor of his vehicle, a older model Volkswagen Thing, before placing her in handcuffs and then fastening her to the passenger seat with a seat belt.

The woman told authorities that she struggled to free herself as he drove east on State Route 28. As the vehicle passed through Agate Bay at about 1:40 p.m., the woman was finally able to open the door and jump from the car, traveling at more than an estimated 40 mph.

A motorist with a cellular telephone reported seeing the handcuffed woman fall to the highway and provided a brief description of the vehicle.

Washoe County sheriff’s deputies across the state line spotted the vehicle about 10 minutes later after it crossed the Nevada state line and pulled it over just east of the Mount Rose Highway.

The suspect was ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint. Deputies reported finding three guns – including a flashlight converted into a firearm – and a machete in the vehicle after the arrest.

The victim was treated for cuts and bruises at Tahoe Forest Hospital, where her injuries were described as non-life threatening.

The weapons prompted surveillance of the suspect’s Carson City home.

The suspect’s wife, initially denied investigators’ request to search the home Sunday afternoon, according to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.

However, the woman reportedly complied after deputies told her that they would get a search warrant.

“The room was filled with many types of weapons, including what appeared to me as several types of silencers, baffles, etc.,” a Carson City sheriff’s detective reported. “I also observed numerous cans of black powder stored in the same room of the four silencers.”

Based on these observations, investigators obtained a search warrant for the home on Monday morning.

Some of the weapons discovered in the home were legal, said Sgt. Fred Schoenfeldt, but others including a sawed off pistol and manufactured silencers are not. A large machine, believed to be used to make the silencers, was located near the front door of the trailer, investigators said.

Marie Gildark reportedly told deputies that her husband makes and manufactures weapons and that she knew cans of black powder were stored near the bedroom of their two children – aged 7 and 11.

Mrs. Gildark was arrested Sunday on suspicion of manufacturing dangerous weapons and child endangerment and released Monday morning after posting $2,000 bail.

Tribune News Service editors Irwin Goldberg and Rob Bhatt contributed to this story.


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