A 47-year-old Ohio man has been arrested in North Carolina after he allegedly killed a woman and held her teenage daughter captive for days, during which at least one of the victims was subjected to violent sexual attacks, officials say.
Deputies responded to a residence in the 700 block of Cool Springs Road in Statesville at 7:30 a.m. on Monday after a 14-year-old child told her family that she had received a text message from a friend who said she needed help.
“Once on scene, deputies spoke with a man who identified himself as Gary Love,” said Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell. “When deputies asked to speak with Robin Denman (the homeowner), Love told the deputies that Robin and her daughter were at a funeral.”
As deputies were attempting to confirm the information about the funeral, Love tried to flee by running out of the back door and into an area behind the house. He was located a short time later and taken into custody, according to Campbell.
Deputies went on to search the home and found a woman’s body that had been “concealed” inside the residence. There was no sign of the woman’s 14-year-old daughter until other deputies responding to the scene came across a “hysterical young girl,” the sheriff said.
“She later told deputies that she had ran from the home when she heard someone pull up, not knowing it was deputies,” Campbell explained. “She told deputies that she had been tied up and held at the home by Love since Christmas Eve. … During a search of the home detectives found evidence consistent with a person being tied up and bound.”
Authorities did not immediately provide information about the mother’s cause of death or how her body had been concealed, but the girl told deputies that she had not seen her mother since Christmas Eve. The girl was transported to an area hospital to be treated for unspecified injuries.
Love has been charged with 1 count of Murder, 10 counts of Felony Statutory Sex Offense with a child less than 15 years of age, 1 count of Felony 1st Degree Kidnapping, 1 count of Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child, 1 count of Felony Sexual Servitude with a Child Victim, and 1 count of Assault on a Female.
“There are indications that one or both of the victims suffered violent sexual attacks during the ordeal. Detectives are still trying to determine what other crimes may have occurred,” Campbell said.
Love lives in Wadsworth in Ohio where he has an outstanding arrest warrant for domestic violence-related charges, as well as an active protection order against him. Love is believed to have been in North Carolina for about 90 days and knew Denman from a time when they were younger and lived in New York.
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