Erwin man charged with kidnapping child, leaving her on side of road


After a brief search, the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department was able to locate a man reportedly involved in a kidnapping. 

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley tells News Channel 11 they have charged Justin Claude Richardson, of Erwin, with especially aggravated kidnapping after reportedly taking a child in the 4900 block of Unicoi Drive. 

According to the sheriff, Richardson reportedly abducted the 5-year-old child Monday evening and abandoned her on the side of the road near Volunteer Drive. 

Sheriff Hensley said once crews learned of the abduction, they were able to locate the girl within 15-20 minutes. 

Hensley was quick to thank the family that found the young girl. 

Monday night Hensley said police were able to find Richardson, and a family member, outside of a Dollar General store in the Town of Unicoi.

Hensley said the family member had no knowledge of the abduction, and only Richardson was arrested. 

Hensley said the young girl is OK and was able to pick out Richardson from a lineup. 

UCSD was assisted by the Erwin Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

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