Police search for armed Cumberland County kidnapping suspect

Local News

CELINA, Tenn. (WATE) – Police are searching for a man described as armed and dangerous who is accused of kidnapping a Cumberland woman at gunpoint.

George Edwin Hardin, 57, is 5’10” and weighs 207 pounds. He was last seen wearing a teal shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes, He was last seen running into the woods in the area of Chad Grace Road and Estis Sims Road in Clay County.

Crossville police officers were called to Elite Market, 4050 127 North on Sunday afternoon around 3:44 p.m. about a man who was holding a gun on a woman in a car. Officers responded and found that the victim had left her purse with another person in the store.

Christie Wallace Heenan, a witness inside the gas station, said that another woman came to her out of the bathroom after the victim had left.

The other woman told Heenan what the victim had said to her inside a bathroom stall.

“(The victim) said that he had her at gunpoint in the black Honda,” Heenan said.

The other woman inside the bathroom mentioned that the victim had left her purse inside.

Heenan went to grab the purse and an employee, Elizabeth Garrett, called 911.

Garrett said deputies arrived at the gas station within minutes. She said the first deputy thought the call was simply for a purse someone left in the bathroom.

Once Garrett told the deputy why the purse was in the bathroom, more deputies were called, she said.

She said one of the deputies were able to identifty Hardin almost immediately after watching the surviellance video.

Police were able to obtain a description of the man with a gun and the woman’s identity and began searching for them.

A short time later, deputies in Clay County got a call from a store in Celina, Tennessee, that a woman was at Obed River Market screaming and that the man she was with had a gun.

The man was identified as Hardin. He was out on parole for first degree murder, armed robbery and rape. 

Officers found the woman at Obed River Market and she is safe, but they say Hardin ran from them and was able to get away.

Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox said that the woman was not physically hurt, but was shaken up after the incident.

He applauded the victim’s bravery and intelligence.

“I’m very proud of her. She was very smart by leaving her purse behind and telling someone to make notification. That helped also, and it also helped when she got into Celina she took flight and tried to get away,” Cox said.

Cox said Hardin and the victim weren’t nextdoor neighbors, but that they lived in the same area.

Hardin is wanted for aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, armed dangerous felon, reckless endangerment and felony possession of a firearm.

If you see him, call 911. Do not approach him.

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