Where is the Kidnapping Survivor Today? Update

The residents of Lafayette, Louisiana, witnessed a horrific kidnapping attempt when Schanda Handley was kidnapped at gunpoint from her front door and forced into an unknown van. Although her daughter, Isabella Cumberland, was present with Schanda at that moment, she could only watch helplessly as two men took her mother away. ’48 Hours: The Kidnapping of Schanda Handley’ takes the viewer through the incident and chronicles how a stroke of good luck saved her. Let’s delve into the details surrounding this case and find out where Schanda Handley is at present, shall we?

Who Is Schanda Handley?

A resident of Lafayette, Louisiana, Schanda Handley was quite popular in her community. Although the locality she resided in was a quiet one, Schanda was extremely helpful and never hesitated to offer assistance to anyone who needed it. She was also quite amicable in her dealings and made friends wherever she went. Although Schanda was married, she and her ex-husband, Michael Handley, lived separately. During their time together, the couple even shared a daughter, Isabella Cumberland, who was living with Schanda at the time of the kidnapping. Nevertheless, her relationship with her ex-husband was on the decline, and apart from calling the police on him several times, Schanda even had a restraining order against Michael.

On August 6, 2017, Schanda and her daughter, Isabella Cumberland, were enjoying a quiet afternoon in their Lafayette, Louisiana, house when they heard a knock on the door. Peering through the window, Schanda noticed two strangers who looked like deliverymen standing on her porch. Since she was awaiting the delivery of a clothes steamer that she had ordered, Schanda rushed to open the door. However, she was left stunned when the men took out a gun and held her at gunpoint. They grabbed her, cuffed her hands behind her back, put a bag on her head, and forced her into the back of a waiting van. Schanda fought for her life and even called for help, but Isabella was helpless as she did not want her mother to get shot. Eventually, Isabella had to stand and watch while the men drove away in the van.

Schanda later mentioned that while one of the kidnappers drove the van, the other rode with her in the back and tried to force pills down her mouth. When Schanda refused to cooperate, they threatened her with dire circumstances, including sexual assault and murder. Still, she held onto the hope of escaping and tried her best to remain calm. As fate would have it, Deputy Chad Martin soon noticed the van speeding along the road and tried to pull it over. Determined not to get caught, the kidnappers sped off and soon got off the highway into a side road, hoping to lose their tail.

However, because of recent rains, the roads were extremely muddy, and the van soon got stuck for good. Without wasting any time, the kidnappers left Schanda behind and decided to make a run for it on foot. Unfortunately, Deputy Chad Martin could not capture the kidnappers, but he managed to rescue Schanda and bring her back to safety. Moreover, the following day, the police found the kidnappers’ bodies in the Intracoastal Waterway in Port Allen and determined that they had drowned while trying to escape.

Where Is Schanda Handley Now?

Even though Schanda was back home safely, she believed her ex-husband, Michael Handley, was responsible for planning the crime. Apart from learning about her rocky relationship with Michael, the police soon discovered that the van was rented in Michael’s name. They even traced the handcuffs used in the kidnapping back to Schanda’s husband, although he was nowhere to be found. Still, Michael could not stay out of prison for long, as he was captured a few days later.

Image Credit: CBS News

After the arrest, Michael was charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and a single count of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Although there wasn’t a lot of evidence against him, Schanda soon came across video footage that recorded Michael plotting the kidnapping. The video even identified the kidnappers as Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes and was an essential piece of evidence in Michael’s trial. In 2021, Michael accepted a plea deal and pled no contest to two counts of second-degree kidnapping as well as one count of attempted second-degree kidnapping, which fetched him a prison sentence of 35 years.

At present, Schanda seems to have gone back to her house in Lafayette, Louisiana and feels a lot safer with her husband in prison. From the looks of it, she has built up a wonderful life surrounded by loved ones and shares a special relationship with her daughter, Isabella. However, even though Schanda appears to be living a perfect life, she claims that she is fearful of the day her ex-husband will get out of prison and mentioned that she would no longer feel free when that happens.

Read More: Where is Schanda’s Husband Michael Handley Now?