CHADBOURN, N.C. (AP) -- A 17-hour hostage standoff in Columbus County ended around 5 p.m. Wednesday. The Columbus County Sheriff's Department and SBI were able to negotiate with the armed man and he released the woman he kidnapped unharmed. The two are in relationship and have a child, but are not married. Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten says the man abducted a Tabor City woman last night. Investigators say the man is armed with a gun but no shots have been fired. Police say the man is threatening to kill the woman. Batten says the sheriff's SWAT team has been on the scene since midnight after the woman was able to call her parents. Police say they knew of the situation when the girl text-messaged her mother. SBI agents began negotiations with the gunman around one a.m. The sheriff says ongoing negotiation is a good sign of open communication between the suspect and authorities.
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