North Carolina man arrested in 35-year-old kidnapping case

January 7, 2022 GMT

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been arrested on charges stemming from the kidnapping of a 4-year-old South Carolina girl in 1986, police said.

The town of Wake Forest said in a news release that police assisted the Lexington County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning in arresting Thomas Eric McDowell, 61, at his home.

Authorities filed multiple charges against McDowell, including murder, kidnapping and burglary. He is being held in the Wake County Detention Center without bail. It was immediately known if he has an attorney.

WRAL-TV reports deputies said McDowell lived in Lexington County in 1986 when Jessica Gutierrez was murdered. The child disappeared from her home on June 6, 1986, and was never seen again, according to a release from the FBI.