A Columbus man accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend faces charges from kidnapping and domestic violence to reckless driving.
Christopher Austin Tedford, 19, of 183 Belle Circle, has been charged with burglary, domestic violence aggravated assault, reckless driving, simple assault, kidnapping and resisting arrest. Lowndes County deputies have been searching for him since last week after he allegedly broke into a Harrison Road home Friday and assaulted someone in the house, said Marc Miley, chief deputy of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.
Warrants for burglary and domestic violence had already been issued for Tedford’s arrest when the suspect was stopped on a routine traffic stop Monday night, Miley said. After a “small scuffle” between Tedford and the deputy, Tedford fled the scene. Deputies spent several hours that night searching the woods for him.
It wasn’t until the next morning that Tedford allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend, 19-year-old Carrie Pannell after she and another witness drove to a home on Tony Cove at about 10 a.m. to pick him up. While the witness was talking to a homeowner, Tedford jumped in the vehicle Pannell was sitting in and drove off while she screamed for help.
Deputies spent the day searching for Tedford and Pannell, finally catching up with them on Harrison Road at about 5:15 p.m. After a short chase — Miley said Tedford drove less than a mile — down a dirt road, the vehicle came to a sliding stop. Tedford got out of the vehicle and ran off. Pannell stayed in the vehicle. She is uninjured.
Miley said deputies spent several more hours searching the surrounding area for Tedford, even calling a helicopter from Jackson to assist using searchlights. At about 10:30 p.m., a tip led deputies to a business near Airline Road. They found Tedford in the trunk of a car, and he was arrested at about 11:15 p.m.
Tedford is in custody at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center. His bond has not been set.