State v. Gordon, ___ N.C. App. ___, 789 S.E.2d. 659 (Jul. 19, 2016)

In this kidnapping case, there was sufficient evidence that the defendant failed to release the victim in a safe place. The defendant left the victim in a clearing in the woods located near, but not easily visible from, a service road that extended off an interstate exit ramp. The area was described at trial as “very, very remote,” “very, very secluded” and almost impossible to see from the highway. The victim “in a traumatized state, had to walk out of the clearing, down an embankment, and across a four-lane highway to get to her apartment. Defendant did not take any affirmative steps to release [her] in a location where she was no longer exposed to harm. He chose to abandon [her] in the same secluded location he had chosen to assault her.”