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Residents of Lafayette, Louisiana witnessed a horrific kidnapping attempt when Schanda Handley was abducted from her front door at gunpoint and forced into an unknown van. Although her daughter Isabella Cumberland was with Shanda at the time, she could only helplessly watch as the two men took her mother away. ’48 Hours: The Kidnapping of Schanda Handley’ takes the viewer through the story and describes how a stroke of luck saved her. Let’s dig into the details of this case and find out where Schanda Handley is now, shall we?

Who is Schanda Handley?

Schanda Handley of Lafayette, Louisiana was quite popular in her community. Although she lived in a quiet place, Schanda was extremely helpful and never hesitated to offer help to anyone in need. He was also quite friendly in his dealings and made friends wherever he went. Although Shanda was married, she was separated from her ex-husband Michael Handley. During their time together, the couple even shared a daughter, Isabella Cumberland, who was living with Schanda at the time of the kidnapping. Despite this, her relationship with her ex-husband deteriorated, and in addition to calling the police on him several times, Schanda even obtained a restraining order against Michael.

On August 6, 2017, Schanda and her daughter Isabella Cumberland were enjoying a quiet afternoon at their home in Lafayette, Louisiana when they heard a knock on the door. Looking out the window, Schanda saw two strangers who looked like deliverymen standing on her porch. Schanda hastened to open the door as she waited for the clothes steamer she had ordered to be brought. But he was taken aback when the men pulled out a gun and held him at gunpoint. They grabbed him, tied his hands behind his back, put a bag over his head and forced him into the back of a waiting van. Schanda fought for her life and even called for help, but Isabella was helpless because she did not want her mother to be shot. inally, Isabella had to stop and watch the men as they drove off in the van.

Schanda further noted that while one of the kidnappers was driving the van, the other got behind him and tried to force the pills down his mouth. When Schanda refused to cooperate, they threatened her with harsh conditions, including sexual assault and murder. Still, he clung to his hope of escape and tried to remain calm. As fate would have it, Deputy Chad Martin soon saw the van speeding down the road and attempted to pull it over. Determined not to be caught, the kidnappers sped off and headed off the highway, hoping to lose their tail.

However, due to the recent rains, the roads are extremely muddy and the van is soon stuck for good. Without wasting any time, the abductees decided to leave Schanda behind and flee on foot. Unfortunately, Deputy Chad Martin was unable to catch the kidnappers, but he did manage to rescue Schanda and bring her back to safety. Moreover, the next day, police found the bodies of the kidnappers in the Intracoastal Waterway in Port Allen, and determined that they had drowned while trying to escape.

Where is Schanda Handley Now?

Although Schanda returned home safely, she believed her ex-husband, Michael Handley, was responsible for planning the crime. In addition to learning about her troubled 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 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 his arrest, Michael was charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to commit second degree murder. Although there wasn’t much evidence against him, Shanda soon came across video footage of Michael planning the kidnapping. The video even identified the kidnappers as Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes and was an important piece of evidence at Michael’s trial. In 2021, Michael accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree kidnapping, as well as one count of attempted second-degree kidnapping, which earned him a 35-year sentence.

Currently, Schanda seems to be back home in Lafayette, Louisiana and feels safer with her husband in prison. Apparently, he has built a wonderful life surrounded by loved ones and has a special relationship with his daughter Isabella. However, while Schanda seems to be leading the perfect life, she claims she dreads the day her ex-husband is released from prison, noting that she will no longer feel free when that happens.

More: Where is Schanda’s husband Michael Handley now?