Two charged in NC kidnapping; victim still missing

MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A man arrested in Tennessee in connection with a Burke County kidnapping is back in North Carolina to face the charges against him. The alleged victim of the kidnapping is still missing.

The investigation began on Jan. 19 when the family of 30-year-old Carlton Lamaar 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.

EARLIER: Family of kidnapped NC man recounts chilling ransom calls; man still missing

Detectives began following leads in the case that led to Boone and Johnson City, Tenn. They say 31-year-old Robert Leroy Littleton III was soon named as a suspect.

Littleton was arrested in Mountain City, Tenn., after being interviewed. He is charged with first-degree kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice. He was extradited back to North Carolina and booked on Thursday.

Investigators say they learned during the interview that Edmondson had been taken to a remote location in Tennessee, assaulted, and left there.

Tuesday night detectives arrested Littleton's wife, Leigh Katherine Mina, and charged her with first-degree kidnapping as well.

WBTV was there when officials took Leigh Littleton into custody. When asked if Edmondson was still alive or if she wanted to say anything to the family, she remained silent.

Edmondson is described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and about 250 lbs. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Both Robert Littleton and Leigh Mina are being held on $200,000 secured bonds.

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.


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