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Posted: 11:44 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, 2013
By Ken Lemon
STANLEY, N.C. —
Brenda Smith cried as she talked about making the call to put her grandson, Rodney Helton Jr., in jail and help rescue a stranger."I don't know who she was, but I thank God she's alright," she said.On Sunday, as she returned to her home, near Stanley, from church, she saw her grandson, Helton, in her driveway, standing at a stranger's car.She said when he saw her and her husband, Helton jumped in the car and backed out.She saw something alarming in the back seat."When he pulled in to turn around, I seen the lady hold her hands up like that, and I could see ropes around her hands," Smith said.She had her husband try to follow Helton."I felt like if I could catch him, I could talk some sense into him," Smith said.She said she raised him almost from birth.She said the 21-year-old was troubled and already on probation for breaking and entering, and the next arrest would put him back in jail."What he did was wrong, but I still love him," she said.But she called 911, and 30 minutes later, police found the woman off an abandoned road a few miles away.Her throat was cut, and she was rushed to a hospital.Helton hid in the woods.Police talked with him by cellphone and convinced him give up seven hours into the manhunt.He is now charged with attempted murder, rape and kidnapping."You are like my own son instead of my grandson, but you know what you done was wrong, and you are going to have to face it, and all I can say is God be with you," she said.Helton heads to court on Tuesday.The victim is from Salisbury.She was in critical condition at last check Sunday night.There is has been no new information about her condition or what lead led her to Helton's home.
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