act of imprisoning or restraining an individual. Phelps, 211 Ill. 2d at
8. An individual can be restrained without placing her inside a
building, vehicle, or other physical structure. For example, kidnapping
victims may be tied to a tree or bound by chains on a railroad track,
thus satisfying the confinement element. Therefore, although a
victim’s confinement may often occur within a physical structure,
there is no requirement, statutory or otherwise, that the victim must
be held inside a physical structure. A determination of whether the
victim has been confined necessarily depends on the circumstances of
We also disagree with defendant’s position, and the appellate
court majority’s similar conclusion, that secret confinement was not
established in this case because defendant and the baby were always
in a public place. See 392 Ill. App. 3d at 327 (finding “[i]t is the
constant ‘public view or awareness’ of the child that takes this case
out of the kidnapping statute”). This court long ago rejected any per
se rule that a victim visible in a public place precludes a finding of
secret confinement in People v. Bishop, 1 Ill. 2d 60 (1953).
In Bishop, the defendant, while test driving a car with a salesman,
produced a gun and demanded money. The defendant ordered the
salesman to drive the car for about four hours, until they reached a
different city where the defendant ordered the salesman out of the car
and took his personal belongings at gunpoint. The defendant pleaded
guilty to kidnapping and kidnapping for ransom, both offenses that
required proof of secret confinement. The defendant then sought relief
on appeal in a coram nobis proceeding. Bishop, 1 Ill. 2d at 61-62.
In relevant part, this court rejected the defendant’s assumption
that there could be no secret confinement in a vehicle on a public
roadway. We reasoned that a victim confined inside a vehicle moving
on a public roadway may be more secretly and effectively confined
from the kidnapper’s viewpoint than a victim kept in a building.
Bishop, 1 Ill. 2d at 64. In other words, we recognized that in certain
instances keeping a victim in a public place may be more effective than
taking the victim to a location out of the public’s view. Simply put,
the kidnapper may choose to hide the victim in plain sight.
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