Crime

Officials Identify Suspect, Victim in Homicide, Abduction

Suspect was shot to death along highway just south of Glacier National Park

By Associated Press
U.S. Highway 2 between West Glacier and Essex on April 28, 2021. Beacon File Photo

GREAT FALLS — Cascade County officials have identified a shooting victim and the suspect in a homicide and abduction that happened at a residence in Great Falls last week and ended with the suspect being shot to death along the highway just south of Glacier National Park.

Patricia Putnam, 51, was shot several times early on July 15, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said in a statement.

The suspect was identified as Xavier Hutt, 24, of Missoula, officials said.

It was reported Hutt had been in a relationship with a member of Putnam’s family and had just physically taken an adult female against her will. There was another family member and two children at the residence when officers arrived.

The search for Hutt and the kidnapping victim ended about six hours later and about 170 miles (274 kilometers) away in Flathead County on U.S. Highway 2 east of West Glacier. Hutt was shot and killed by an officer and the victim was rescued.

The state Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating Hutt’s shooting death since a law enforcement officer was involved. The pursuit included federal, state, local and tribal agencies,.

The kidnapping victim was treated for injuries Hutt inflicted during the incident, Slaughter said.

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