Authorities in Burke County have charged a second suspect with kidnapping as investigators continue to search for the man investigators say was the victim.
A family in Valdese called the Burke County Sheriff’s Office last Friday to report receiving phone calls demanding money for the return of Carlton Lamaar Edmonson, 30, the office said.
An investigation by Burke County detectives and the State Bureau of Investigation led to Boone and then to Johnson County, Tenn., just across the state line. Investigators arrested Robert Leroy Littleton III, 31,of Fleetwood, near Boone, and charged him with first-degree kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice. He’s been held in Tennessee without bond.
Littleton told investigators, according to Burke County authorities, that Edmondson “had been taken to a remote location in Tennessee, assaulted and left.” Edmondson hasn’t been found and Johnson County investigators are treating him as a missing person.
“The investigation did lead us to a location in Tennessee, but he (Edmondson) was not there,” Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant told Morganton’s News Herald. “He has not been heard from since he was taken from Burke County.”
On Wednesday, Burke County authorities said they had also charged LeighKathrine Mina, 30, of Boone with first-degree kidnapping. She was being held in Burke County under $200,000 bond. Mina told deputies she had recently married Littleton but doesn’t have documents to verify that, authorities said.
Additional arrests are pending, the sheriff’s office said.