911 calls help capture NC sex offender, lead to safe recovery of 7-month-old

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Danville police confirmed a 7-month-old girl has been found safe after she was abducted Sunday by her father, a convicted sex offender from Asheboro, North Carolina.

Emma Grace Kennedy is in good health and is being evaluated in a local hospital, Danville police said. Police have notified Emma’s mother, Kristen Murphy, and are working to reunite the two. 

Carl Ray Kennedy, 51, was found with the child inside a trailer Tuesday afternoon in Randleman, North Carolina. He was taken into custody without incident. 

Authorities say a tip led them to the trailer where they found the kidnapped girl and Kennedy, who took her at knife-point.

Multiple calls came in to alert authorities to Kennedy’s whereabouts in Randolph County.

“I need this to be extremely discrete; Carl Kennedy is with the baby,” said one caller who seemed to know Kennedy.

“Just called me panicking,” she added. “Carl’s here with the baby, wanting me to go get her some diapers and formula. I’m panicking.”

Kennedy and the woman were not in the same place when she made the call. The operator did tell her to try to keep an eye on him in case he left.

“Whenever you do come, please heed all sirens,” the woman told 911.

The same woman called back later to tell officials Kennedy was trying to leave.

“We need someone there immediately,” she said. “Please be sure that they heed the sirens because there ain’t no telling what he’s liable to do.”

Another call came Tuesday in from a man who seemingly owns a store in the area.

“I had a guy stop,” the caller said. “You know that Kennedy guy they’re looking for? He said he’s in the car on the side of the road changing a tire. … Looks just like him, but (someone) said the car has been spray painted black.”

Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves told reporters at a news conference Tuesday that an officer entered the mobile home and “immediately grabbed her up and shielded her with great care.”

The sheriff says Emma Grace Kennedy “had a great smile on her face and appeared to be in good shape and certainly a great smile on our deputy’s face as well.”

Police in Danville, Virginia, say Carl Ray Kennedy abducted his daughter at knifepoint from the girl’s mother at a gas station there Sunday night.

Virginia State Police had issued an Amber Alert saying the infant faced “extreme danger.” Graves says Kennedy painted his gold Suzuki black to try to evade police.

Emma was taken from Murphy during an incident a Danville gas station. 

“He came around to my driver’s side, reached through the window, ripped the keys out of my ignition and then he proceeded to open my door,” Murphy said. 

She said Carl Kennedy then put the child in his car and ordered Murphy to leave with him. 

After she refused to get in the car, she said he pulled off with the infant.

Murphy is OK following the assault police said. 

She said Carl Kennedy did this to get her attention. 

“He doesn’t have a car seat, he doesn’t have diapers, he doesn’t have a bottle. I know Emma’s every cool and hot he knows nothing about her. He’s using her as a barter to me,” Murphy said. 

Carl Kennedy is a registered sex offender in North Carolina after a 2014 conviction for sexual battery. He was out on bond after being arrested on drug charges, police said.  

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