CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. (TCD) -- A man suspected of kidnapping an elderly woman outside her home was located in Kentucky and taken into custody.
According to AL.com, on July 4, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 1:30 p.m. to report 75-year-old Betty Cobb missing after her family went to her home but could not locate her. A large search comprising "multiple teams from multiple agencies" immediately began for Cobb and the suspect, Tony Lamar White.
In a news briefing July 5, Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade announced officials located Cobb in a closet and bound with duct tape at a residence on South Wilmer Street. White allegedly followed Cobb when she was at the grocery store on July 4. Wade said White "picked her out as a person he wanted to victimize" and allegedly proceeded to tail her to several stores until she eventually went home.
Wade said, "When he got there, she was unloading her groceries and he attacked her, forcing her into the front of her vehicle, taking her to his home."
Investigators eventually homed in on White’s car and found he had family in the Anniston area. Police reportedly spoke with one family member, and she phoned him asking, "What have you done?"
White allegedly fled after the phone call, which Wade said helped prevent any potential additional assaults or injuries to Cobb.
Wade said Cobb was assaulted with a weapon and she "thought she was going to die."
According to Wade, White is suspected of raping older women in cases dating back 10 years. In July 2012, he allegedly followed a woman home and attacked her. A similar event allegedly happened in July 2013. Wade said investigators have DNA that links the cases together.
In his press conference, Wade and all the other law enforcement officials spoke highly of Cobb, calling her a "sweet lady" and "difference maker." Cobb still serves as a volunteer firefighter and drove an ambulance for several years. Wade also noted Cobb is known to "almost every law enforcement officer in our county."
Wade said of the kidnapping, "This is the stuff horror movies are made from."