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Judge keeps bond at $9M for man charged in Wilmington girl's abduction

Posted September 16

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— A New Hanover County judge on Friday kept a Wilmington sex offender's bond at $9 million on charges that he abducted and sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl who was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.

Douglas Edwards, 46, is charged first-degree kidnapping and two counts of indecent liberties with a child in the incident, although New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said Friday that additional charges will likely be filed against Edwards.

According to authorities, Edwards, of 302 Patalanda Road, abducted the girl late Wednesday from her Wilmington home. The girl was found chained to a tree Thursday morning about 2 miles away, according to NBC affiliate WECT.

Jason Mehalko and Peter Marchese were on their way to work Thursday morning when they came across a deputy who needed their help.

"(The deputy) yelling out - did we have an bolt cutters," Mehalko said.

They did not have bolt cutters, but they did have a saw. they eventually helped free the little girl.

"The way it looked and the way she was chained up, she was...it looked like she had been out there for awhile," Mehalko said. "Her back was like, toward a tree. And her feet outward, so she was tied from the chest up to the stree."

But Marchese said he will never forget the look on the little girl's face.

"When she looked up at me, I mean, there was like, terror in her eyes," he said.

Authorities rushed the girl to the hospital, where she was in good condition Thursday.

Edwards, who was convicted of first-degree sex offense with a 6-year-old in 1994, was released from prison in 2012. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 6, and on Friday he received a court-appointed attorney.

A motive behind the kidnapping, or a connection between Edwards and the girl or her family, was unclear.

Editor's note: In a previous version of this story, WRAL News identified the victim in this case because she was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert. Due to new information, WRAL has taken the victim's name out of the story because WRAL usually does not identify the victims of sexual crimes.


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  • Benjamin Kite Sep 16, 8:12 p.m.
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    Weird. He looks like a peaceful dude, but dang if he isn't just about as vile as they come. Lock him up, and make him do labor for the rest of his life. Oh yeah I forgot, we think labor is cruel today.

  • Susan West Sep 16, 6:29 p.m.
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    This the appropriate amount of bond for a child predator. Thank you to the judge. However, when a pervert molests a relative or child they know, the bond is often far less and it shouldn't be. Ever.

    Poor little girl. She is lucky to be alive. May this man never step foot outside prison walls again.

  • Johnny Roberts Sep 16, 5:47 p.m.
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    I went back to double check and he is still on parole/post release for the first sex charge. So that tells us all that he was convicted 2 more times (1 being a felony drug charge). And they didn't violate his parole ??? How does that happen. This is so crazy to me. I think the court and parole office should be held responsible too. They should of just kept him in prison for life. Hope he gets life this time. We should really start petitioning the state to bring back firing squad or the chair to rid the earth of people like this..

  • Johnny Roberts Sep 16, 5:35 p.m.
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    You know, this is so sad. Wral left out quite a bit about this guy. He was convicted in 96 not 94. When he got out in 2012 he was on post release when he was charged with dumping trash on roadway. Then was still on probation when he caught a drug charge in 2015. And is currently on probation for that. Can we say repeat offender. Our justice system really let us down with this one. Prayers to the little girl.. maybe the court can do better this time around. #hangemhigh

  • Erika Phipps Sep 16, 5:29 p.m.
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    You can't let these people out of jail. Ever. They destroy childhood for the most vulnerable, which is enough like murder that the death penalty is in order, especially when guilt is so easily proved. There will never be justice for this child, because the law allowed him to leave prison alive. But for cripes sake, will he be released in another few years to do it again? What is wrong with our lawmakers???

  • Marie Brandsdorfer Sep 16, 3:43 p.m.
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    That is what I don't understand, they know these people prey on innocent children and yet they say ok play nice. Bya bye!

    I would poke him full of holes and hang him by his feet and let him hang to drip dry.
    This makes me livid and sick to my stomach!

  • Morris Vobserv Sep 16, 3:10 p.m.
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    How does a predator like this get out of prison in the first place? I think the sentence the first time should have been the death penalty or life in prison.

  • Sean Creasy Sep 16, 1:32 p.m.
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    I hope they chain him to a tree out in the woods while he is awaiting trial...

  • David Lewis Sep 16, 12:19 p.m.
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    Nice hairdo, Satan.