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Falls woman believed beaten still missing

Authorities in two states failed Monday to locate a 57-year-old woman who they say was beaten in her Bucks County apartment early Sunday and then abducted, shoeless and at knifepoint, in her own vehicle.

Authorities in two states failed Monday to locate a 57-year-old woman who they say was beaten in her Bucks County apartment early Sunday and then abducted, shoeless and at knifepoint, in her own vehicle.

Diane Corado's 2004 Pontiac Aztek turned up along a Camden street Sunday evening, its interior apparently stained with blood.

Two hours later, Corado's ex-boyfriend - his clothes bearing bloodlike stains - was arrested at a Maple Shade motel on kidnapping, assault, and other charges.

Kenneth Patterson, 48, was arrested at 9:13 p.m. Sunday after police spotted him leaving Room 314 of the Clover Motel on Route 73. "Corado was not in the motel and her whereabouts remain unknown," a court affidavit states.

Patterson, an ex-con who shared Corado's address in Falls Township until recently, checked into the motel around 5 p.m., an employee said. When found, police said, he refused to tell them where Corado was. He was being held in the Burlington County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Court records, based largely on a witness' account, describe a harrowing ordeal that began around 6 a.m. Sunday, when Patterson allegedly broke into Corado's apartment on Mill Creek Road.

He dragged Corado across the floor by her hair, beat her with a pipe, and threatened to kill her as he held a kitchen knife over her, according to the police affidavit used to obtain a search warrant for Corado's vehicle.

Patterson then abducted Corado and Margaret Ricketts-Boyd, who had been sleeping on a couch in the apartment. Ricketts-Boyd was released unharmed shortly after Patterson forced her and Corado into Corado's car.

"Diane, do you smell that? Do you smell that? That's gunpowder. I am going to kill you and me tonight," Patterson allegedly told Corado inside the car, according to the affidavit.

As recently as a month ago, Patterson was still listing Corado's apartment as his address. Their relationship had ended since then, Bucks County District Attorney David W. Heckler said.

Patterson was carrying a pipe when he broke in Sunday morning, Ricketts-Boyd told police. When she stood up from the couch, "Patterson told her not to move or he would kill her," the affidavit said.

Patterson then forced open the door of Corado's bedroom and dragged her by the hair into the living room, the affidavit says. He began striking her with the pipe while yelling, "I told you this wasn't over," according to the affidavit. The attack injured Corado's left elbow, causing it to bleed and rendering her unable to use her left arm, Ricketts-Boyd told police.

Fetching a large knife from the kitchen, Patterson then ordered Corado to get into her car, the account continued, and she left the apartment wearing only a white T-shirt and flannel sleep pants.

As the three rode away in Corado's car, Corado asked Patterson to let Ricketts-Boyd go. He did so along Bristol Pike near Mill Creek Road, the affidavit says. Another motorist gave Ricketts-Boyd a ride to a nearby store, where she called 911.

Surveillance video from the Clover Motel shows Patterson walking up to the front door and checking in shortly before 5, said James Bean, a clerk who worked the overnight shift and saw the video.

Patterson paid about $50 in cash for a room. Around 5:30, he returned to the front desk and asked if he could switch his room. He paid about $7 more for an upgrade and got Room 314, Bean said.

Shortly after 6 p.m. television news reports told of the incident, Heckler said, the wife of a police officer found a set of keys and a piece of Corado's identification in her yard in Camden. Recognizing Corado from news reports, she contacted police, who searched the area, Heckler said.

Corado's Pontiac was found unoccupied at 6:54 in the 1600 block of Norris Street. "A large amount of red fluid consistent in appearance with blood was observed on the interior surface of the vehicle" by a Falls Township detective, the affidavit says.

Slightly more than two hours later, Patterson was arrested at the motel. As he was taken into custody, "red stains consistent in appearance with blood were observed on his clothing," the affidavit says.

New Jersey prison records show Patterson was released Jan. 10 after serving almost two years for illegal weapons possession and receiving stolen property.

In late October, the 6-foot, 260-pound Patterson was briefly in Bucks County Court when he obtained a temporary protection-from-abuse order against a woman half his size. Patterson claimed the woman, angry after he had asked her to return a necklace, had harassed and stalked him, subjected him to oral and emotional abuse, and threatened to sic gang members from Trenton on him.

In his petition, Patterson listed Corado's apartment as his address. A judge threw out the protection order after Patterson failed to show up for a Nov. 3 hearing to extend it.