JOHNSON COUNTY, TN — Authorities in North Carolina and Tennessee went back out to the state line Friday to search for a missing man out of Burke County.
Investigators said 30-year-old Carlton Edmondson’s kidnappers beat him, left him in the woods three weeks ago and then demanded ransom from his family.
Authorities have arrested six people in connection with the case, but Edmondson has yet to be found.
Law enforcement officials said to Channel 9 on Friday that one of the suspected kidnappers took cellphone video of the others beating Edmondson in some woods in Tennessee.
Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said the video is hard to watch.
“It’s not good to watch the way these people did this young man. I mean, nobody should be treated like that,” Reece said.
Investigators used the cellphone video to track the exact spot where the beating took place, around Trade, Tennessee.
Criminologists from Western Carolina University are using cadaver dogs to search a 1-square mile area around where he was last known to be alive.
"When I made my decision to do this a long time ago, I just reflected on what it would be like not knowing, and at least the families can begin the process. They'll never heal,” said Lisa Briggs, applied criminology assistant professor at Western Carolina University.
Channel 9 went with search teams Friday morning as they used cadaver dogs to search for Edmondson in several different locations in the rugged terrain near the North Carolina and Tennessee border. At one point, we could see the spot where they believe he was beaten, because it was marked with blue tape.
His kidnappers called his parents about a half dozen times, making ransom demands of $700.
Channel 9 learned some of the six arrests made so far were owed to voice recognition technology used with the cellphone video police discovered of the beating.
Edmondson's mother said she is thankful for those searching.
"Continue to pray that God lays it upon the suspect's heart to let us know what they've done,” mother Lanisha Kincaid said.
Law enforcement officials from both states said they are not giving up hope, and they hope to provide answers to the family soon.
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