Local News

Police: 7-month-old, subject of Amber Alert, found safe in NC

Posted June 5, 2018 1:01 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:16 a.m. EDT

— Seven-month-old Emma Kennedy, who was the subject of an Amber Alert, was found safe at about noon on Tuesday.

Emma was found in good health in Randolph County and her father, Carl Ray Kennedy, was arrested, police said. Her mother has been notified.

Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves said the child was evaluated at a local hospital.

"The child is in good health and has been taken to get a checkup to make sure she is OK, but everything appears to be fine. She is in protective custody and is very safe at this time," he said Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities said a tip from a resident led them to the home where Emma was found, and that Kennedy had spray painted his gold sedan black to avoid capture.

Multiple people called 911 to report seeing Emma and Kennedy on Queen's Way in Randleman. They advised authorities to not use their sirens to avoid scaring him off.

"The baby's fine. He will probably try to run or something. I don't know," one caller said. "I don't think he would hurt Emma either, but, you know."

Another caller reported seeing Kennedy on the side of Greensboro Road changing a tire.

Deputy Jimmy Barns is credited with saving Emma.

"(He) entered the mobile home and grabbed her up and shielded her with great care and she had a great smile on her face," Graves said.

Barns said it is a relief knowing the child is safe.

"That's the best feeling in the world to protect someone and know they are safe," he said.

Police issued an Amber Alert early Monday for Emma, last seen with Kennedy, saying she was believed to be in "extreme danger."

Graves said he believes Emma and Kennedy had been in the area for some time.

"We feel like he has probably been here since he came back from Virginia, he has been in Randolph County," Graves said.

On Tuesday, Emma's family said they are happy to have her back "healthy and safe."

"We thank all of the friends, viewers, media, police & authorities who have supported us during this time and made it possible for us to locate Emma. Everyone who helped in every little way are heroes today, you brought Emma home," the family said in a statement.

Kristen Murphy, Emma's mom, said she broke off her three-year relationship with Kennedy in March after he was arrested on drug charges. According to Murphy, Kennedy said he was out of jail and asked to meet her at the gas station on Sunday.

"In hopes of him leaving me alone, I went to go meet him," she said.

Murphy said Kennedy tried to get into her car, hitting her and attempting to stab her, before he took off with Emma. Murphy says, with his criminal history, she believes Emma's life is in danger.

"He has nothing left to lose now," she said. "I feel like he would hurt Emma. He is just gonna either disappear or I'm never gonna see her again, because he's gonna harm her. I think he is that sick."

According to the N.C. Bureau of Investigation, Kennedy, who once had an Asheboro, North Carolina address, is a registered sex offender.