Nurse involved in alleged kidnapping released on bail

Posted 10/6/21

A woman accused of kidnapping and assaulting her girlfriend was released on bond from Jefferson County Jail last week after her bail was lowered to $10,000.

Laura Ashley Silva, 31, was arrested …

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Nurse involved in alleged kidnapping released on bail


A woman accused of kidnapping and assaulting her girlfriend was released on bond from Jefferson County Jail last week after her bail was lowered to $10,000.

Laura Ashley Silva, 31, was arrested after sheriff’s deputies were called to Hoh Oxbow Campground on US Highway 101 at 10 p.m. Thursday, July 1.

According to court documents, Silva’s girlfriend said she had been at a camping site with Silva, her on-and-off-again girlfriend, when Silva allegedly began hitting her and then started to chase her around a picnic table.

Silva then grabbed a rubber mallet, the victim said, and tried to hit her with it. The woman then alleged Silva had grabbed a large stick that had been holding up a garbage bag at their campsite and began swinging it until it hit the picnic table and broke.

The woman then ran away to get help, but Silva grabbed her by the shirt and tried to pull her back toward the campsite. The victim told authorities she felt a hard object press into her back, which she thought was a gun, and Silva allegedly told her, “You know what this is. I’m going to kill you,” according to court documents.

The victim told police Silva had been carrying a gray gun in a pink holster on her hip, and had threatened her in the past.

She also told police that Silva tried to force her into a Toyota Yaris, but then “ripped their dog away” from her, got in the car and sped away. 

Silva went off the road and drove the vehicle into a ravine as she tried to leave.

The victim then said she ran over to the car and got the dog and tried to help Silva out of the Toyota, but ran away and hid in the woods when Silva started yelling at her, according to court documents.

Two campers told a deputy they had heard the pair arguing about cheating, and the dog, then saw the Toyota speed away before hearing it crash into the ravine. They also said they saw Silva get out of the car and run up the road toward US 101.

One of the witnesses said he had seen Silva grab the dog, get in the car, and speed away, then watched Silva get out of the Toyota after she crashed it.


During a hearing Sept. 17 in Jefferson County Superior Court, attorney Richard Davies raised questions about the allegations made against Silva and asked that bail be dropped from $50,000 to $10,000.

“Ms. Silva is charged with real serious charges,” Davies said.

Davies noted that authorities had alleged Silva had brandished a pistol, but he questioned whether that had really happened.

In an investigation report submitted to the court by the defense, an investigator noted that the victim had claimed Silva carried a gray gun in a pink holster, but added that no holster was found in Silva’s possession or in her car after her arrest.

The investigation report from her legal team also noted that no one had actually witnessed Silva trying to force her girlfriend into her car, and the investigator also raised doubt’s on the victim’s claim that she had been held against her will, because the woman had twice driven alone to Forks for supplies and coffee, and had returned to the campground where she had been staying with Silva.

“There’s a real question if this is anything other than a DV [domestic violence] at a picnic bench out on the West End,” Davies told Judge Keith Harper.

Davies noted that Silva is a registered nurse. A Florida resident, she has been working in Washington as a traveling nurse since March, and had been living in Tacoma.

“She has no criminal history. Period. Zero. Not here or anywhere else,” Davies said.

Davies asked that bail be set at $10,000, an amount her family could likely raise, so that Silva could go live with her father in Florida but continue working as a nurse.

Silva would also sign an extradition waiver, Davies added.

“She has every intention of returning,” he said.

“This is somebody with no criminal history. And a talent, well, the country needs presently,” Davies said.

He again questioned the charges of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.

“We don’t want registered nurses sitting in jail for something that perhaps is regrettable,” he said.

Prosecuting Attorney James Kennedy, however, said the facts would be sorted out at trial. 

“That’s what juries are for,” Kennedy said.

The allegations were serious, he added; domestic violence assault with the use of a firearm, and an incident that potentially crossed multiple state lines.

Bail of $50,000, Kennedy added, “is extremely reasonable.” 


The victim in the case, as well as Silva’s mother, attended the court hearing via Zoom.

The judge asked the victim if she wanted to say anything before he decided on the bail amount, and she said: “I think that it might be good for her if her bail was reduced; that she could be around family. I think she probably needs that.”

Harper noted he had read the investigation report from Silva’s public defender, as well as the probable cause statement from her arrest.

“There is some legitimate dispute or ambiguity concerning some of the details regarding what exactly happened here,” Harper said.

The judge also noted the cancelation of all jury trials through Dec. 6.

Silva’s trial had been set for Oct. 10.

That date was stricken and her trial date was reset for Jan. 10.

Harper told Silva her pretrial hearing was set for
Dec. 17 and if she didn’t appear, a warrant would be issued for her arrest.

allegations of ASSAULTS

At the time of her arrest, Silva had refused to talk to a deputy and was later identified by the license plate number of the car and her driver’s license photo.

A Glock pistol was found during a search of the car, and in a follow-up interview with a detective, the victim claimed she and Silva had been traveling to Michigan from Washington but once they crossed the border into Idaho, Silva began going through the victim’s phone while they were stopped at a gas station.

Silva then allegedly said they were going back to Washington. She then took the victim’s phone, identification, money and credit cards, the victim said, and repeatedly assaulted her over the next two weeks.

During a subsequent stay at a hotel in Ellensburg, the victim said Silva punched her in the head and told her new name “was Lucky, like a dog, and forced her to lay under a desk in the corner of the room while Silva packed.”

When the pair stopped at a trailhead along Interstate 90, the victim claimed Silva put a gun in her face and told her she was going to kill her, according to court documents.

The victim told the deputy that Silva “wanted to cut me and hang me upside down from a tree and let all my insides come out so the bears can eat me.”

The woman said Silva also threatened to make her watch as she killed their dog. She also said she was assaulted with the gun and made to beg for her life.

At a stop at Sahara Creek Horse Camp in Pierce County, the victim said they again got into an argument while camping and Silva was afraid someone would call police so they packed up their campsite and left.

The victim told police she left a note behind at the campsite with her name on it that said, “Please help me call cops.”

Workers from the Department of Natural Resources later found the note and put a post on Facebook that asked campers to be on the lookout for two women who had been at the horse camp.

The post on social media included a photo of the note, and said two women had been seen in an altercation at the camp and one of the women had been grabbing the other by the hair and arm, and was chasing her around.


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