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Man abducts ex-girlfriend, leads deputies on chase


Christopher Austin Tedford

Christopher Austin Tedford



Isabelle Altman



A Columbus man accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend is in custody this morning after he spent Tuesday on the run from Lowndes County sheriff's deputies. 


Christopher Austin Tedford, 19, of 183 Belle Circle, was arrested Tuesday not long before midnight, according to Lowndes County Chief Deputy Marc Miley. Deputies with Lowndes County Sheriff's Office had been searching for Tedford and his victim, 19-year-old Carrie Pannell, since that morning when Tedford allegedly jumped into a vehicle Pannell was in and drove off while she screamed for help. 


Pannell and a witness authorities didn't identify had driven to a residence on Tony Cove in eastern Lowndes County to pick up Tedford Tuesday morning, according to a Lowndes County Sheriff's Office press release. When they arrived at the home, the witness got out of the vehicle and knocked on the residence's door. The homeowner who answered told the witness no one named Austin Tedford was there. 


While the witness and homeowner talked, they heard Pannell screaming and turned in time to see Tedford get in the car with Pannell and drive off. 


Deputies spent several hours looking for Pannell and Tedford, even issuing a press release to ask the public for help. They caught up with the vehicle at about 5 p.m. Miley said at that time, Tedford "bailed" and fled from deputies on foot, leaving Pannell in the vehicle.  


Deputies caught and arrested Tedford near Airline Road and Highway 82 at 11:15 p.m., Miley said. 


There were already warrants out for Tedford's arrest in connection with a burglary and domestic aggravated assault from last week, according to the press release. Miley said the suspect will likely face several other charges, including kidnapping and theft of a motor vehicle.




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