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Vinson Filyaw is confirmed dead at the age of 51.

Like a hummingbird, Vinson Filyaw danced in the wind and ultimately flew to the afterlife.
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What did Vinson Filyaw do?
Vinson was best known as a American convicted child rapist.
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Vinson Filyaw's death was likely due to unknown.
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Vinson Filyaw
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Vinson Filyaw
DiedMay 3, 2021(2021-05-03) (aged 51)
OccupationConstruction worker
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Criminal penalty421 years
Capture status
Imprisoned atKirkland Correctional Institution, 2007
Vinson Filyaw was an American former construction worker. He was convicted of kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Shoaf, a 14-year-old girl from Lugoff, South Carolina, in 2006, holding her captive in an underground bunker.
1 Kidnapping
2 Arrest
3 Trial and imprisonment
4 Sources
5 External links
The victim, Elizabeth Shoaf, was kidnapped after she got off her school bus on September 6, 2006. Filyaw gained her trust by posing as a police officer. He walked her around in the woods until she became disoriented and then marched her to a hand-dug 15-foot bunker near his trailer home, located within a mile of her own home.
Once inside, he stripped her naked, restrained her with chains, and raped her several times a day over the duration of her 10-day captivity. Police initially interpreted her disappearance as a runaway, and did not launch an Amber alert. Shoaf's poise and calm while she was held captive was considered remarkable by people involved with missing children cases. "Not only was she very brave, she was also very smart and did several things that greatly improved her chances of survival," said Captain David Thomley of the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department.
While being led into the woods, she dropped her shoes in the hope that it would provide a clue for someone who was searching for her.
Despite receiving ongoing death threats and having explosives hung around her neck, she "would talk with him about things that interested him, which in his eyes, made her a person, not just a captive. She began to gain his trust."
After continuing to gain his trust, she was allowed out of the bunker, and would "pull out strands of her hair lay them on branches hoping search dogs might pick up her scent."
After 10 days in captivity, the victim convinced Filyaw to let her borrow his cellular phone to play games, but she had an entirely different use in mind. Once he fell asleep, she texted her mother and friends, who contacted the police. Before the police could triangulate the phone number, Sheriff Steve McCaskill thought that the text was a hoax. The former girlfriend who made the call to Kershaw County's Department of Social Services passed on Filyaw's cell phone number to the police. The authorities then began to triangulate the bunker's position through local cell phone towers.
Officer Dave Thomley did not know that Elizabeth Shoaf was underground in a bunker until Filyaw's former girlfriend showed them the first bunker he built. Thomley initially thought that it was a trash pit. Filyaw learned that he was being pursued when he watched the news on a battery-powered television in the bunker. He asked Shoaf for advice and she suggested he ought to run away to avoid capture. He left and the next morning Shoaf left the bunker and called for help until she was found by a rescue team.
Filyaw equipped the entrance of the bunker with a booby-trap, according to police.
Filyaw was five miles from his house, carrying a taser, pellet gun, and knife, when he was arrested. He was charged with kidnapping, possession of an incendiary device (a flare gun), and impersonating a police officer, with other charges pending.
Trial and imprisonment
Filyaw pleaded guilty to all counts just before the start of the trial. The victim, Shoaf, was too emotional to testify, but a prepared statement was read by her attorney and she later made a public statement. Filyaw was sentenced to 421 years in prison without possibility of parole on September 19, 2007, by Circuit Judge G. Thomas Cooper, given the maximum penalty under South Carolina law. He is incarcerated at the Maximum Security Unit at Kirkland Correctional Institution.
Shoaf later made several media appearances, including a 2008 episode of the Today show, on which Meredith Vieira did a profile of Shoaf and her family, commenting on her calmness throughout such a horrific event. The story aired on Dateline NBC on March 7, 2008. Filyaw's interaction with Shoaf was also explored on the "Underground Terror" episode of Investigation Discovery's Surviving Evil series, hosted by fellow crime survivor Charisma Carpenter, on September 9, 2013. The entire ordeal was dramatized in the Lifetime movie Girl in the Bunker, which premiered on May 28, 2018.
Filyaw died in prison on May 3, 2021; no cause of death has been determined.
^ a b c d e "What Elizabeth Shoaf did right - Inside Dateline -". Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
^ a b Voorhis, Genevieve Van (May 28, 2018). "What Happened To Vinson Filyaw? Lifetime's 'Girl In The Bunker' Dramatizes A Real & Harrowing Kidnapping". Bustle. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
^ Ryan, Jason (April 10, 2018). "'Monster' who kidnapped, raped Kershaw teen 'does not deserve any forgiveness'". The State. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
^ Monk, John (May 3, 2021). "'Girl in the Bunker' kidnapper who got 421 years in SC prison dies behind bars". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
External links
Teen Rescued After Sending Text Message. CBS News Sep. 17, 2006
Filyaw Receives 421-Year Prison Sentence Sept 19, 2007
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