Lumberton police identify man accused of kidnapping 2 children at Econo Lodge motel

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WBTW) — Lumberton police have identified a man they say kidnapped two young children Thursday afternoon at a local motel.

The children, ages 1 and 4, reportedly were taken just before 4 p.m. from the Econo Lodge motel. Police said their mother called 911 to report the kidnapping after she took the children to the motel with her to return items to Lemons after a recent breakup.

That’s when Lumberton police said Shiferaw Lemons, 24, of Lumberton, pulled the woman out of the car and then drove off with the children. He is facing more than a dozen charges from two law enforcement agencies.

The charges by Lumberton police include two counts of first-degree kidnapping; larceny of a motor vehicle; two counts of assault on a female; communicating threats; and injury to real property. Johnston County authorities have charged him with fleeing/eluding arrest with a motor vehicle; speeding; reckless driving with wanton disregard; no operator’s license; two counts of misdemeanor child abuse; improper passing on the right; unsafe lane change; and child not in a rear seat.

After the alleged kidnapping, investigators immediately began gathering information about the suspect’s vehicle and contacted law enforcement partners in surrounding areas, along with the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the FBI, police said.

An Amber Alert was about to be issued when members of the highway patrol spotted the vehicle, police said. The suspect fled from troopers and deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office deputies before he eventually crashed along Interstate 440 in Johnston County.

He was taken to the hospital to be checked out and then taken to the Johnston County Detention Center police said.

The children were taken to the hospital and later released. Count on News13 for updates.

Dennis Bright is a Digital Producer at News13. He joined the team in May 2021. Dennis is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Follow Dennis on, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.

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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.

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