A manhunt is underway for an Alabama man who allegedly kidnapped a woman he noticed in a grocery store.
Betty Cobb, 75, was reported missing on Monday when her glasses were found in the driveway of her home along with some groceries. Her phone and keys were found on her bed.
Soon after, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office announced that they were on the lookout for Tony Lamar White, 47.
“He randomly chose her,” Sheriff Matthew Wade told The New York Post. “She was buying groceries and he followed her to her residence.”
He told Oxygen.com via email on Tuesday afternoon that Cobb, bound with duct tape, was allegedly found inside a closet located in White’s home in Anniston. Officials found her six hours after she was reported missing, Alabama.com reported, and she suffered knife wounds but is expected to recover fully physically.
White is now wanted on first-degree kidnapping and burglary charges. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.
The alleged kidnapper remains at large after reportedly getting tipped off to the investigation by a family member.
“This guy is a dangerous, evil person and I believe there are other crimes out there,’’ Wade said at a press conference held on Tuesday.
“Our main job it to make sure this guy isn’t able to live with us citizens ever again,” he said.
During the press conference, Wade noted that Cobb was known in the community for helping others: She once drove an ambulance and served as a volunteer firefighter for many years.
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“She’s a servant. She’s a difference-maker,’’ he said. “She’s a sweet lady.”
Investigators are now looking into whether or not White could be a suspect in rapes that occurred in July of 2012 and 2013 in both Calhoun and Talladega counties. The victims in those cases were also followed home from stores by the perpetrator, and their ages were 82 and 67.
“People don’t just wake up and go to peoples’ houses, kidnapping them,’’ Wade said. “That’s not the first crime they’ve done.”
Anyone with information is urged to please call 911 or the Sheriff's Office at 256-236-6600. Wade is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest of White.
He may be driving a silver Chrysler 300 with the Alabame license plate 11JA702.