Okaloosa County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Genrich was awarded a Medal of Merit on Friday for his heroic work last year to rescue a woman and bring her kidnappers and torturers to justice.
On Jan. 28, 2013, the Sheriff's Office learned that a woman had been kidnapped and was being held in a white truck near Calhoun Avenue and Beach Drive in Destin.
Genrich searched that area while other deputies checked on other tips that the victim and kidnappers were near Destin harbor.
He spotted the truck at a home on Calhoun and watched as the three suspects loaded the victim into it. Despite not having any backup, Genrich ordered the trio to the ground at gunpoint.
The woman said later that the suspects had been discussing where to dump her body.
She had been tortured and moved to several locations in the previous 24 hours. She had been tied up, beaten, burned with cigarettes, strangled, and blindfolded with rags over her mouth as water was poured over her face.
Six people eventually were arrested in connection with the kidnapping.
“If not for the efforts of Deputy Dan Genrich, (the victim) would likely have been killed,” according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office news release reported. “Instead, she was rescued and taken to Fort Walton Beach Hospital for treatment.”