A child is safe, and his accused kidnapper behind bars.
Monday night at approximately 6pm, a man approached a mother and her 11-year-old child on Johnson Circle. The stranger initiated a conversation with them, then lingered in the area after the mom went inside. That is when the man re-approached, ordered the child into his truck, and drove away – unbeknownst to the mother or anyone else.
At 7:40pm, Columbia Police contacted Franklin Police Dispatch and alerted us that the child was in Columbia. After being driven there by the suspect, the child was able to flee from the vehicle, run to a nearby liquor store, and call 911 as the kidnapper drove away. While Columbia officers were talking with the child, the suspect drove by and was pointed out by the child. Columbia officers immediately stopped the suspect who admitted taking the child from outside the Johnson Circle residence in Franklin. The child’s mother first learned of the abduction when Franklin Police Officers went to her home to tell her that her child was found by police, 25 miles away, in Columbia. The child’s mother assumed that the child was playing in the neighborhood.
Gregory Ladd, 57 of Franklin, was ultimately charged with Aggravated Kidnapping and Reckless Endangerment by Franklin Police. He is being held in the Williamson County Jail on a $105,000 bond, and due in court 05/21/2015 at 1pm.
Ladd lives less than a minute from the area he kidnapped the child; he is a total stranger with no relationship to the child or family.