MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - The family of a man kidnapped from the Valdese area last week is still hoping the man will turn up alive. Lamaar Edmondson, 29, was taken by several people, authorities believe. In mid-January, ransom calls began.
"They wanted $700," said Lanisha Kincaid, Lamaar's mom.
That is an unusual amount, says Sheriff Steve Whisenant. He explained, there are details about the situation he cannot go into at this time. In any case, the family says the kidnappers were apparently beating Lamaar during one phone call.
At one point the victim was allowed to talk to his family. Robert Pearson, his father, says his son was begging. "Please help me, I'm sorry, " and later added, "They are going to kill me."
Pearson says in the last ransom call when he explained he could not give the kidnappers all that they wanted, he said the man on the other end of the call did not argue.
"He said, that's all I needed to hear and then hung up and I haven't heard from my son since then," the father said.
Authorities were able to develop some leads and follow them into Tennessee. They arrested Robert Littleton III there, and he is awaiting extradition to North Carolina on a charge of kidnapping.
Littleton allegedly told investigators where Lamaar was taken and says after he was assaulted they left him there. Sheriff Steve Whisenant of Burke County says investigators went to the site, found some evidence, but could not find Lamaar. Other suspects are being sought.
The victim's family has put up a $2,000 reward for information that leads to Lamaar.
"He is such a living person. He just got off the good path for a while but was getting better," Lanisha Kincaid said.
The family is asking that anyone who has information to call the Burke County Sheriff's Office.