How a Teen Survived 18 Hours in Captivity with a Serial Killer — Then Helped Track Him Down

A new Oxygen special produced by child safety activist Elizabeth Smart tells the story of Kara Robinson, a 15-year-old girl who was abducted and assaulted before escaping her captor in 2002

Kara Robinson
Photo: Kara Robinson Chamberlain/Instagram

In 2002, Kara Robinson was abducted from her friend's front yard in Columbia, S.C., forced into a dark storage container, and driven to her captor's apartment where she was drugged and sexually assaulted.

Only 15 years old, Kara decided that if she was going to survive, she needed to escape — and she needed to do it quickly. Filled with adrenaline, she repeated three things over and over in her head: "Gather information, wait for him to be complacent, escape."

Over the course of 18 hours, Kara noted as many details about her captor as she could. She memorized the serial number of the storage container she was put inside, the magnets on her captor's fridge, the caged animals he owned, and the fact that there were long strands of red hair in a hairbrush she saw lying around.

When the man who took her fell asleep, she freed herself from his bindings, fled the home and told authorities what happened.

Kara's testimony led police to Richard Evonitz, a man believed responsible for three similar abductions in Virginia, all of which ended in murder.

Evonitz was located by authorities in Sarasota, Fla. Kara was the last person he would hurt.

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Nineteen years later, now-married Kara Robinson Chamberlain reflects on her harrowing day with a serial killer and the aftermath of her abduction in a new true-crime documentary from Oxygen called Escaping Captivity: The Kara Robinson Story. (Watch an exclusive trailer below.)

The two-hour special — produced by kidnapping survivor and child safety activist Elizabeth Smart — includes first-hand accounts from Kara, plus interviews with her parents, high school boyfriend and law enforcement officials who credit her for helping them catch a serial killer.

The Kara Robinson Story premieres on Oxygen Sunday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. ET/PT, available online and on demand.

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