WATAUGA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A fifth person has been arrested in connection to a reported kidnapping out of Burke County. The victim, 30-year-old Carlton Lamaar Edmondson, is still missing.
Valerie Ann Dollar, 24, was arrested Wednesday in Watauga County on a fugitive warrant out of Tennessee. She is charged with conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping. Extradition back to Tennessee is pending.
Dollar is the fifth person arrested in connection to Edmondson's disappearance.
Robert Leroy Littleton III, 31, and his wife, Leigh Katherine Littleton, were both arrested earlier in January and charged with first-degree kidnapping.
Michael Stacey May, 39, was arrested on Friday and charged with conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping. James Combs, 30, was arrested on Saturday and faces charges including aggravated kidnapping and extortion.
Authorities say the "intense investigation" involves several counties in both Tennessee and North Carolina. They did not say what evidence led to May's arrest.
Searches have been conducted, but Edmondson has not been found. On Monday, investigators went to Michael May's home to search. They left empty-handed.
The investigation began on Jan. 19 when Edmondson's parents told police they got 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 Robert Littleton was soon named as a suspect.
Investigators say they learned during an interview with Littleton that Edmondson had been taken to a remote location in Tennessee assaulted, and left there.
He has not been seen or heard from since.
Edmondson is described as a black male around 5'9" and about 250 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes.
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.