Abducted 7-month-old baby found safe, father arrested in NC

Carl Kennedy
Carl Kennedy

NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - A 7-month-old Virginia girl who sparked an AMBER Alert Sunday has been found safe and her father arrested in North Carolina.

Carl Kennedy is accused of abducting Emma Grace Ray Kennedy from a Kwik Mart on Riverside Drive in Danville late Sunday night after police say he assaulted the baby's mother. An AMBER Alert was issued for Emma shortly after.

Police say Carl Kennedy, who does not have custody of the child, was considered "armed and dangerous."

"Emma Grace Kennedy appears to be in good health and is being evaluated at a local hospital," Danville police stated in a case update Tuesday. The girl's mother was notified.

Carl Kennedy was arrested at a home in Randleman, NC. Investigators say a tip came in after someone saw Emma and Carl Kennedy at the home.

Deputies from multiple agencies then set up a perimeter and surrounded the home. When asked if Kennedy resisted arrest at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves said the suspect "really didn't have time to react."

"He didn't have a whole lot to say," Graves said, "kind of not a whole lot of reaction, expression."

Graves said Kennedy, who appeared "tired," may have spent some time at the home on Tuesday, but that investigators don't believe he stayed there overnight.

Emma, thankfully, seemed to be OK. Graves said it wouldn't be long before she was reunited with her mother. In the meantime, she was in "good care" and "being very well taken care of."

The Sheriff's Office shared a photo of Emma being held by Deputy Jimmy Barnes after her recovery.

"Any time you have a case involving children, a lot of emotions for all of us. Very overwhelmed the child is safe and unharmed," Sheriff Graves said.

The sheriff said Kennedy, who investigators believed was using a license plate for several different vehicles, had even painted the gold Suzuki he was in black to avoid detection.

The sheriff shared a photo of the makeshift paint job.

"There are no tags assigned through the DMV to this vehicle," police say. "It is likely Kennedy is using the NC FAA-1873 tags on one or more of these vehicles."

Emma's mother spoke to reporters on Monday about her daughter's abduction and Carl Kennedy.

Carl Kennedy is a registered sex offender and from Asheboro, according to the NC State Bureau of Investigation. Sheriff Graves said the last time his department made contact with Kennedy was on May 25, for a related change of address notification.

The AMBER Alert, which has now been canceled, sparked multiple tips about possible sightings.

Four separate calls to 911 were released Tuesday. In each, the callers reported seeing Kennedy or the car, including the call that led authorities to the house where Emma was found.

According to WNCN, Danville police traveled to Durham after reports of a man trying to sell a baby. Detectives determined that incident was not related to the Amber Alert, WNCN reported.

Durham police told WNCN that a man was reportedly drinking by a pond when another man approached him about buying a baby. That man then waited 30 minutes to call police about the incident and got a "got a partial match to Kennedy's license plate number," according to WNCN.

If you have any additional information, you're asked to call the Danville Police Department immediately at (434) 799-6510 or 911.

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