BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A sixth person has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a man in Burke County.
Carlton Lamaar Edmondson, 30, was kidnapped in early January from the Valdese area by several people, authorities believe.
The investigation began on Jan. 19 when the family of 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.
Edmondson is still missing but six people are facing charges in connection with his disappearance.
Authorities arrested Brittany Arnold in Mountain City, Tennessee Thursday and charged her with conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault. Arnold was the sixth person charged in connection with this incident.
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.
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 May's home to search and left empty-handed.
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-foot-9 and 250 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
The victim's family has put up a $2,000 reward for information that leads to Edmondson.
The family is asking that anyone who has information to call the Burke County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with information on Edmondson's whereabouts should call the Burke County Sheriff's Office at 828-438-5500.