Fourth arrest made in Burke Co kidnapping, victim still missing - | WBTV Charlotte

Fourth arrest made in Burke Co kidnapping, victim still missing

James Parker Combs (Watauga County Sheriff's Office)) James Parker Combs (Watauga County Sheriff's Office))
Carlton Lamaar Edmonson is still missing after he was reportedly kidnapped, assaulted, and left in a wooded are of Tennessee (Burke County Sheriff's Office) Carlton Lamaar Edmonson is still missing after he was reportedly kidnapped, assaulted, and left in a wooded are of Tennessee (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Stacey James May (Watauga County Sheriff's Office) Michael Stacey James May (Watauga County Sheriff's Office)
Robert Leroy Littleton and Leigh Katherine Littleton (Burke County Sheriff's Office) Robert Leroy Littleton and Leigh Katherine Littleton (Burke County Sheriff's Office)
WATAUGA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with a reported kidnapping of a Burke County man who is still missing.

On Saturday, James Parker Combs, 30, was arrested in Watauga County on a fugitive warrant from Tennessee, and is accused of aggravated kidnapping.

Combs was charged with conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping and his bond is $250,000. 

On Friday, Michael Stacey James May, 39, was taken to the Watauga County Jail and held on an extradition warrant out of Tennessee. He is charged in TN with conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping.

Authorities say the "intense investigation" involves several counties in both TN and NC. They did not say what evidence led to May's arrest.

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 got phone calls from an unknown person saying Carlton - their son - had been kidnapped. 

The caller was reportedly demanding money in exchange for Edmondson's return.

RELATED: Family of kidnap victim recounts chilling ransom calls

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, and charged with first-degree kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice out of NC. He was extradited back to NC and booked on Thursday.

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.

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

Investigators say they learned during the interview that Edmondson had been taken to a remote location in TN, assaulted, and left there. He 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. May is being held on a $250,000.

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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