Man charged in Burke Co kidnapping extradited to NC, victim still missing

Man charged in Burke Co kidnapping extradited to NC, victim still missing
Carlton Lamaar Edmondson (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
Carlton Lamaar Edmondson (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
Robert Leroy Littleton III (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
Robert Leroy Littleton III (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
Leigh Katherine Littleton (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
Leigh Katherine Littleton (Burke County Sheriff's Office)

BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man arrested in Tennessee in connection with a Burke County kidnapping is back in North Carolina to face the charges against him. The alleged victim of the kidnapping is still missing.

The investigation began on Jan. 19 when the family of 30-year-old Carlton Lamaar Edmondson contacted the Valdese Police Department. The family said they had received phone calls from an unknown person saying their son had been kidnapped. The caller was reportedly demanding money in exchange for Edmondson's return.

Detectives began following leads in the case that led to Boone and Johnson City, TN. They say 31-year-old Robert Leroy Littleton III was soon named as a suspect.

Littleton was arrested in Mountain City, TN, after being interviewed. He is charged with first-degree kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice out of NC. He was extradited back to NC and booked on Thursday.

Investigators say they learned during the interview that Edmondson had been taken to a remote location in TN, assaulted, and left there.

Tuesday night detectives arrested Littleton's wife, Leigh Katherine Littleton, and charged her with first-degree kidnapping.

WBTV was there when officials took Leigh Littleton into custody. When asked if Edmondson was still alive or if she wanted to say anything to the family, she remained silent.

Edmondson is described as a black male, 5'9" tall, and about 250 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Both Robert and Leigh Littleton are being held on $200,000 secured bonds.

Anyone with information on Edmondson's whereabouts should call the Burke County Sheriff's Office at 828-438-5500 or Morganton/Burke Crime Stoppers at 828-437-3333. You can also contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Department at 432-727-7761.

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