The man who kidnapped and tortured a young girl he kept hidden in an underground bunker has died in his cell.
51-year-old Vinson Filyaw was found unresponsive in McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina after serving 14 years of his sentence.
According to The State, an autopsy will be performed but there were no signs of foul play.
McCormick County coroner Faye Puckett confirmed that a prisoner had passed away.
Filyaw’s case was the subject of the 2018 film ‘The Girl in the Bunker.’
In an interview on Monday, former 5th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese said: “He was a bad guy — as bad as you can get without killing anybody. He got 421 years and deserved every day of it.”
It was in 2006 when Filyaw kidnapped Elizabeth Shoaf, 14, after she got off a school bus. He hid in the bush and waited for the girl to leave the bus stop before abducting her.
He falsely told the victim that she was under arrest and handcuffed her because her family was growing marijuana.
Filyaw then led the girl into the woods where he raped her multiple times. He also made him wear a necklace that he claimed was explosive. He warned her that if she tried to run or escape, he would detonate the bomb.
The rapist took Shaof to a six-foot-deep underground bunker. According to reports, the lair was booby-trapped with explosives.
The bunker had a bed, a stove, a well, a television, and an escape hatch.
Investigators said that it was one of four bunkers Filyaw had built around Kershaw County.
Shoaf then managed to persuade Filyaw to let her play games on his phone. While he was sleeping, she messaged her mother and stuck her hand out of the bunker’s door to send the text.
This led officers to the site, where Shaof had been kept for 10 days.
Filyaw fled the scene but he was later arrested and tried. He was given 421 years behind bars in a sentence that consecutively combined the sentences for his crimes, which included impersonating a law enforcement officer, kidnapping, and rape.
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