Minneapolis kidnapping suspect previously held woman captive for two weeks

He was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, illegal firearm possession, and two counts of domestic assault in July 2017. 

Derrick Jonathan Fasig/Minnesota Department of Corrections

Warning: This story contains content that some readers may find disturbing. 

A man who allegedly kidnapped a woman at gunpoint in Minneapolis Thursday was released from prison last June in connection to a prior kidnapping case.

The FBI’s Minneapolis field office put out a missing person alert Friday and accused 27-year-old Derrick Jonathan Fasig of kidnapping Azaria Sandifer. Several hours later, the FBI said Sandifer was found safe and jail records show that Fasig is now back in custody at the Hennepin County Jail awaiting charges.

This isn’t the first time Fasig has done this. Crime Watch Minneapolis reports that Fasig has three prior felony convictions. He was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, illegal firearm possession, and two counts of domestic assault in July 2017.

According to the charges, Fasig purchased a one-way train ticket for a woman he had met at a pipeline protest camp in North Dakota. The woman agreed to travel to St. Paul and described her first few days with Fasig as “really good.”

But then she began to realize that Fasig was “very insecure” and controlling, so she asked him to purchase a return ticket for her. He refused.

“He became angry and assaulted her. He slapped her repeatedly. He punched her numerous times in the head and face and body. He kicked her in the back and stomach. He got on top of her and strangled her using both of his hands,” the charges state.

“She said he squeezed so hard that she thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head. She said she could not breathe. He also held a knife to her throat. She said she was terrified and thought she was going to die during the assault. She stated that nobody else was home during the assaults. He continued to assault her daily when nobody else was around,” they continue.

The woman told police that she repeatedly attempted to leave, but Fasig “held her captive.” Whenever she tried to leave, he would chase her, drag her back into the house, and assault her, according to the criminal complaint.

“He began to zip tie her hands with black zip ties during the evening. He stayed by her at all times and was never more than 20 feet away from her,” the charges state.

The charges also accuse Fasig of repeatedly forcing the woman to have sex with him against her will and confining her to a camper parked in the driveway.

“The camper had a padlock on the outside. The defendant also kept a long gun in that camper. He threatened her with the gun by pointing it at her and making the sound of a gunshot. He told her that if she ever left him he would shoot her,” the complaint says.

The woman, Laycie Jean Williams, eventually went public with her story. She was held captive for a total of two weeks.

“At first I had pity for myself, because my spirit was broken, and that is what he loved,” she told the High Plains Reader.

Thanks to a plea deal, Fasig was only convicted of kidnapping and saw the remaining charges dismissed.

“He admitted to everything he did and took the plea agreement for kidnapping,” Williams said. “[It] made me feel good that he took responsibility for what he did. He wasn’t remorseful, but I wasn’t expecting him to be.”

Another woman who spoke with the High Plains Reader on the condition of anonymity also accused Fasig of raping and beating her.

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Fasig was sentenced on May 14, 2018 and released June 1, 2021. That means he spent a little over three years in prison.