Authorities are searching for a North Carolina kidnapping victim in remote Tennessee mountains after arresting a suspect in the case.
The family of Carlton Lamaar Edmondson told Valdese police on Friday about getting phone calls from a stranger saying their son had been kidnapped. The caller demanded money for Edmondson’s return, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
Burke County sheriff’s detectives and State Bureau of Investigation agents began following leads in the case. The leads led them to Boone and then to Johnson County, Tenn. Authorities are not disclosing what leads took them to Boone and Johnson County.
Investigators identified 31-year-old Robert Leroy Littleton III of Fleetwood as a suspect. Authorities found, interviewed and arrested Littleton in Mountain City. Fleetwood is in Ashe County in the North Carolina mountains.
Littleton was charged with felony first-degree kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice in North Carolina. He was jailed without bail pending extradition to North Carolina and faces a Feb. 7 court appearance on the charges.
During their interview with Littleton, investigators learned Edmondson was taken “to a remote location in Tennessee, assaulted, and left,” according to a Burke County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Authorities have yet to say if Littleton and Edmondson previously knew each other. More arrests are expected, the sheriff’s office said.