GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- A nearly nine-hour all-out manhunt for a kidnapping suspect in Gaston County ended Sunday night with the man accused of attempted murder now in police custody.
There was an overwhelming police presence in Mount Holly Sunday afternoon as law enforcement attempted to capture kidnapping suspect Rodney Helton.
According to first responders, the call came in around 1:02 p.m. that Helton had taken a woman hostage. The initial address for the call was 127 Family Lane, the search parameter soon ballooned over five miles.
Reports first indicated that the woman was his probation officer, it was later determined that the victim was not an officer.
As police searched the cul-de-sac in the Creek Walk subdivision off Hickory Grove Road, the victim ran from the woods towards officers with multiple cuts on her neck, police said.
Witnesses who live in the community near the search area say police set up a parameter along Kelly Road and Hickory Grove.
"There are police everywhere, some have guns out -- some are out in the field looking," said Heather Davis who lives in a nearby neighborhood. "We didn't know what was gong on," said Davis as she rode along Kelly Road with her husband.
As storms loomed over the search area, police called off the manhunt. As soon as the rain eased up, law enforcement continued to search.
"Units went back out there after the storms cleared," said Jay Human with the Gaston County Police.
Dispatchers say he was found off Lane Road shortly before 9 p.m. bringing the nearly nine hour search to a close.
Helton is now facing a slew of charges including rape and attempted murder.
Gaston County records show a long history of arrests for Helton including three arrests last year -- notably felony larceny, breaking and entering.