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Abducted teen girl found, suspect captured

By KATE WHITE

Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After an Amber Alert for a 16-year-old girl was lifted Thursday, police filed a kidnapping charge against a 20-year-old man they say abducted her from a Beckley pharmacy.

Police found Jaddah Lashay Rodgers in the town of Raleigh and she was OK, according to information posted online at about 3 p.m. Thursday by the Beckley Police Department. An Amber Alert for Rodgers had been issued Wednesday evening, announcing that the teenager had been abducted by a man at the Walgreens pharmacy on Robert C. Byrd Drive.

Lawrence Edward Asbury III, 20, is charged with kidnapping, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday night in Raleigh County Magistrate Court. Asbury was taken to the Southern Regional Jail, where he is being held without bail.

Beckley police located Asbury less than two hours after announcing that the Amber Alert was being lifted. An Amber Alert notifies law enforcement and citizens about missing or abducted children.

At about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Rodgers retreated to the women’s restroom in Walgreens when Asbury pulled into the pharmacy parking lot, a witness who was with Rodgers at the pharmacy told police, the complaint against Asbury states.

Once inside the bathroom, Rodgers told the witness to “be quiet” in an attempt to hide from Asbury, according to the complaint.

Asbury, though, allegedly followed the teenager and the witness into the women’s restroom.

He grabbed Rodgers by the hair and began punching her, the complaint states. The witness told police Rodgers tried to cover her face to protect it from being struck. The witness became scared for her own safety and fled the store. She called 911.

A detective wrote in the complaint that Rodgers and Asbury had previously been in a relationship but ended it, because of their age difference.

Surveillance footage obtained by police allegedly shows Asbury forcefully putting Rodgers into his vehicle.

“It is apparent to this detective that the victim attempted to resist being put into the vehicle but could not physically stop the attack,” wrote Cpl. J.S. Stewart, a detective with the Beckley Police Department.

Police found Rodgers’ cellphone in the middle of the road at the intersection of Fitzpatrick Road and Old Pemberton Road, the complaint states. Her sweatshirt was found nearby in Fitzpatrick Park.

Police had been searching Wednesday night for a red 2-door 1995 Chevrolet Blazer, with West Virginia license plate 522359, because that was the vehicle they said Asbury was driving at the Walgreen’s.

The vehicle was found earlier Thursday in Glen Morgan, but it had been abandoned, according to police.

Beckley police did not return phone calls Thursday. It wasn’t clear where Asbury was apprehended or where exactly Rodgers was found.

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