Emma Grace Kennedy was taken at knifepoint from her mother Kristen Murphy earlier this week in Virginia, but thanks to an anonymous tip, police were able to find the 7-month old two days after she was taken by her father, 51-year old Carl Ray Kennedy, a registered sex offender with a long criminal history.
Virginia State Police had issued an Amber Alert early Monday stating the infant was in “extreme danger,” but neighborhood 911 calls led police to a mobile home in North Carolina, some 65 miles south of Danville, Virginia, where she was abducted Sunday evening at a gas station, police said.
A report added that Emma and her mother, Kristen Murphy, were reunited soon after at a local hospital where the baby was examined, said Murphy’s sister, Amy Wyatt Metzger.
While thankful for the happy outcome of the investigation, the family said they at first they weren’t optimistic.
“We were prepared for the worst, honestly,” Metzger said.
Metzger said they were worried because Kennedy had said things in recent months that they believed to him hurting Murphy or Emma, things like, “I’m going to blow up your family’s house” or “If I can’t be with the baby, you can’t either.”
Carl and Kristen met at a nursing home where she is a certified nursing assistant and he had to be checked in due to a boating accident.
They then lived together for nearly two years in Randleman before splitting up, with him losing custody of the little girl a couple of months ago and he then started harassing Kristen and her family in person, by phone, or on social media.
Emma is “totally fine and healthy. Everything has checked out just fine,” Metzger added.
Police added that Kennedy ‘didn’t say much’ after the arrest, with Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves adding: “He seemed like somebody who had been on the run, who was tired, I guess.”
At time of Emma’s abduction, Kennedy was out of jail on a $250,000 bond on a drug distribution charge, police said.
He is held in the Randolph County jail and will face an extradition hearing to Virginia. Danville police Lt. Mike Wallace said Kennedy will face charges of abduction and related counts.