The assailant forced Danielle into the front seat of his truck. Dan was in the back of the truck along with a large Rottweiler. The assailant then drove to another location, threatening the couple as they traveled.
Their abductor stopped his truck on Gut Road, an isolated dirt road, and assaulted Danielle. He then forced the two students out of the truck at gunpoint and shot both of them in the face. He fired until he ran out of bullets, and then pushed them into the Susquehanna River.
Danielle and Dan played dead in the river while waiting for their kidnapper to leave. They floated downstream only a few hundred yards before being pulled out of the water by Pete Prowell, a local duck hunter. They were taken to York County Hospital.
Danielle's injuries were assessed in this MRI. They included a badly lacerated tongue, and a portion of her jaw which had been so severely damaged that according to her doctor it looked "like Rice Krispies." Danielle was put into an induced coma to help stabilize her.
Dan's injuries were also severe, as shown in this cross section view. (His jaw is visible at the top of the MRI). A bullet had passed through his windpipe, and there was a severe risk that bone fragments could nick an artery in his neck, causing blood clots that could lead to a stroke.
Because Dan and Danielle had been pulled out of the water, the spot where the crime occurred was unknown at first. Police officers from several agencies searched the riverbank for evidence and discovered the crime scene, including blood and shell casings, the day after the shootings.
Since Danielle had been placed in an induced coma, detectives were only able to question Dan about the crime. Dan was unable to speak because of his injuries, so he wrote down his extremely detailed recollection of the crime for detectives. He described the truck, the kind of shoes the kidnapper wore and even the name of the abductor's dog -- Sam.
Dan's vivid description of his abductor led investigators to William Babner, a York resident with prior arrests on his record. When shown a picture of Babner in a photo lineup, Dan was able to positively identify the man as their abductor.
Police learned that William Babner was staying with his girlfriend and her children. Fearing a hostage situation, a Quick Response Team team was stationed in the alleys outside of her house. When everyone except Babner had left the residence, they stormed the house and arrested him without incident.