Clint McLaughlin formally charged with alleged kidnapping of Mariana Cracogna

Clint McLaughlin made his first appearance in a Saskatoon courtroom this morning in the alleged kidnapping and assault of Mariana Cracogna.

Charges include aggravated assault, kidnapping and unlawful confinement

Clint McLaughlin made his first appearance in a Saskatoon courtroom this morning in the alleged kidnapping and assault of Mariana Cracogna. 

The 36 year old was formally charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful confinement and breaching his earlier release conditions. He sat slumped in the prisoner's box with his head in his hands as the charges were read.

The Crown revoked his earlier bail and requested a non-contact clause with three individuals. He'll be back in court on June 11.

Out of hospital

Cracogna, 26, the Saskatoon woman who was allegedly abducted and was missing for two and a half days, is out of hospital and doing well, according to family.

"She's just her normal self," Pablo Cracogna, Mariana's brother, told CBC News Monday. "She's dealing with [the ordeal] really well."

According to police, Cracogna went missing Friday afternoon. Her family reported to police that she was probably abducted by McLaughlin, a man who Cracogna previously had a personal relationship with. 

Mariana Cracogna, 26, was reported missing and possibly abducted Friday. (Saskatoon Police Service)

Police said they immediately issued an alert for officers to be on the lookout for Cracogna. Their investigation, they said, then led them to believe she had been abducted and a full-scale search was launched.

Cracogna was found Sunday around 9 p.m. CT in a rural area east of Saskatoon. Police said she was able to escape her alleged abductor and make her way to a highway where she was found by a passing motorist.

She was taken to hospital for treatment and is now at home, her brother said.

"She's home and she's the same old girl that she was before she left," he said. "Physically she appears to be doing well."

'She'll tell me when she's ready'

Her brother added he has been cautious when it comes to asking questions about what happened.

"I don't know how much of an experience or how bad an experience it would have been for her," he said. "I don't want to really probe. I figure she'll tell me when she's ready."

"Emotionally, I haven't really asked her how she's really feeling," he added. "I just feel that she should be able to deal with it on her own, for now, before I start bringing anything up."

Clinton McLaughlin, 36, is facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault, kidnapping and unlawful confinement. (Saskatoon Police Service)

Pablo Cracogna said the most important thing is that his sister is safe and at home.

"I don't know how to describe the feeling. It was just something incredible," he said. "The family is feeling better than ever. I mean you lose a family member and they come back to you and you can't help but feel happy about it."

He said Mariana is aware that many people were looking for her.

"She really extends her gratitude and her thanks for everybody that helped bring her back and bring her back safely," he said. "And not just that, but also got Clint into custody."

Social media response

Jennifer Lacey (Facebook)
Jennifer Lacey is an EMT in Lloydminster who knows Cracogna through her brother, Pablo. She says that she took to social media on Friday after confirming with Pablo that his sister had, indeed, gone missing.

"I added a Facebook status and it went viral, quickly," she said.

"You can track on there how many shares you’ve had, who has all shared it, and just seeing that it’s been shared in the United States as well as Ontario and British Columbia. Just the overwhelming response that we got from it."

As someone who works with paramedics, Lacey knew all too well that cases such as this often don't have a happy ending. She spent the weekend frightened for her friend.

"I was pretty scared for her. A lot of these cases, I know that if they don’t find people, they say that the first 48 hours is the most crucial."

And then, Sunday night she read that Cracogna had been located and was alive. She's looking forward to seeing her again.

"I’m gonna give her a huge hug, just tell that she’s the strongest woman I know and that we’re so happy she’s made it home."

McLaughlin, who was also found by a passing motorist. He was arrested a few hours after Cracogna was found.

Police said McLaughlin and Cracogna had had nothing to eat or drink since Friday. McLaughlin was also treated in hospital in Saskatoon.

On Monday afternoon, police said McLaughlin had been released from hospital and was in holding cells at the police station. He was to be seen by a justice of the peace Monday night, ahead of court appearances set for Tuesday.


With files from CBC's Steve Pasqualotto