Shelby County Sheriff's Office: 3 people arrested for kidnapping - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas


Shelby County Sheriff's Office: 3 people arrested for kidnapping in missing teen case

Shannon Leonad (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office) Shannon Leonad (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Elizabeth Sanford (Source: SCSO) Elizabeth Sanford (Source: SCSO)
Laurel Smith (Source: SCSO) Laurel Smith (Source: SCSO)
Melony Anderson (Source: SCSO) Melony Anderson (Source: SCSO)

After a missing 15-year-old Shelby County girl was found safe and unharmed in Batesville, Mississippi, on Thursday, three women were arrested and charged with kidnapping.

According to a press release from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shannon Leonard, 27, Elizabeth Sanford, 36, and Laurel Smith, 22, all of Center, were arrested by the Batesville Police Department and charged with third-degree felony kidnapping.

Officers with the Batesville PD picked the three suspects up on warrants out of Shelby County.

“Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) investigators Carmen Fears, Chad Brown, and Adam Renfro were able to ping a phone belonging to one of the suspects,” the press release stated. “The whereabouts of the subjects and [Melnoy] Anderson was passed on to the Texas Ranger Jim Hicks, who kept BP abreast on their location.”

Fears, Renfro, and Hicks will head to Mississippi on May 7 to interview the three suspects in the case. 

The three women will be brought before a magistrate in Mississippi to sign extradition papers, the press release stated. They will then be transported back to Center for arraignment on the kidnapping charges.

The case is still under investigation at this time.

“The SCSO would like to thank the public and all media outlets who shared the press release concerning Anderson’s appearance,” the press release stated. “We greatly appreciate your assistance.”

A post on the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page stated that before Melony Skye Anderson was found, she was last seen leaving Timpson High School Wednesday afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. The post said Anderson left in a dark-colored, early 2000s model Chevrolet Tahoe with “a white male driver and a white female passenger.”

As of Thursday, Anderson was considered a runaway.

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