43ºF

Emergency Operations Center set up in Danville to help find abducted 7-month-old girl

Center set up inside Danville Fire Department headquarters

DANVILLE, VA. – Around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, the Danville Police Department announced that 51-year-old Carl Kennedy, charged with abducting his 7-month-old daughter from a Danville gas station Sunday night, was in custody and his 7-month-old daughter safe.

"There'll be an extradition process that he'll go through in North Carolina involving a hearing," Danville Police Department Lt. Mike Wallace said.

Authorities detail what led to cancelling Amber Alert, rescuing of 7-month-old Emma Kennedy

"Now, he could waive that hearing and would speed the process up. I don't know that he's going to do that, but there is a legal process that you have to go through for that. That could be a month, it could be two weeks. It's difficult to say."

Wallace said once Kennedy is brought back to Danville, the police department will officially serve him with warrants for abduction and assault.

Police say Kennedy physically assaulted the mother of his 7-month-old daughter in the gas station parking lot before taking the infant out of the mother's car and driving off.

Danville Police Department Lt. Steve Richardson was one of the investigators who spent hours working the phones in the emergency operations center and was in the center when the good news came in Tuesday afternoon.

 "(There were) a lot of happy folks here. We've got a large partnership here," Richardson said. "We had a lot of leads and been close. We've missed him, we've found locations and sent investigative leads all over North Carolina."

Thanks to a citizen, investigators got the lead they needed early Tuesday afternoon and less than 30 minutes later Kennedy was headed to jail.

"I knew the team (of investigators) went out (to follow up on the lead). It was very shortly thereafter, when we got that lead, within 15-20 minutes, that the child was safe," Richardson said.

Media was not allowed into the emergency operations center Tuesday at the Danville Fire Department's headquarters because, according to Wallace, sensitive information could unintentionally be captured on video and broadcast, which could hinder the investigation.

Wallace did say, however, that investigators had fielded hundreds of calls and had worked 10-12 hour shifts around the clock for the nearly two days that the emergency operations center was open.


About the Author: