Six-year-old girl found chained to tree after allegedly being abducted by sex offender

By Snejana Farberov For Dailymail.com, Associated Press

The sheriff identified the suspect as 46-year-old Douglas Edwards, who is a registered sex offender. Photo / 
North Carolina Sex Offender Registry
The sheriff identified the suspect as 46-year-old Douglas Edwards, who is a registered sex offender. Photo / North Carolina Sex Offender Registry

A 6-year-old girl who was reported missing in North Carolina was found chained to a tree, and a registered sex offender has been charged with kidnapping and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said the victim was rescued in Wilmington, in a wooded area about 2 miles from her home.

The sheriff identified the suspect as 46-year-old Douglas Edwards, who is a registered sex offender.

He was charged with first-degree kidnapping and two counts of indecent liberties with a child, the Daily Mail reported.

McMahon said the girl was doing well a day after she had vanished from the Royal Palms mobile home park in Wilmington where she lives.

A witness told the station WECT police officers flagged him down as he was driving to work along River Road and asked him if he had any bolt cutters they could borrow. Instead, he gave the officers a battery-powered saw, which they then used to cut her down from a tree.

The witness said he saw the 6-year-old after the rescue lying on her back, looking very calm.

The victim was last seen in the driveway at 5140 Carolina Beach Road at about 4:50pm Wednesday. Authorities believed she was taken by a man on a black moped traveling southbound, reported WCNC.

Police sent out an Amber Alert and launched a search for the grade-schooler, which lasted through the night.

The victim was discovered in the woods, chained to a tree, at around 10am Thursday. A family friend the little girl was taken to a hospital for treatment, but it is unclear at this time if the child had been harmed.

"We beat the odds today, it's safe to say," McMahon told reporters.

Public records indicate that Edwards was convicted in 1996 of first-degree sexual offense and indecent liberties with a six-year-old child.

The 46-year-old suspect is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Friday.

- Daily Mail

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