Homicide

Desperate text leads deputies to kidnapped teen; mother found dead

Gary Love.

Gary Love.  (Iredell County Sheriff's Office)

A kidnapped 14-year-old girl managed to text her friend for help, leading deputies to discover she was held captive and her mother was killed in their North Carolina home -- and on Tuesday, the suspect was charged with murder.

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Gary Love, of Wadsworth, Ohio, was held without bond. Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell told local media the mother and daughter were violently assaulted in what he called a "demonic" crime.

Deputies found the woman dead Monday morning after her daughter texted the friend for help. The daughter told deputies she had been tied up since Christmas Eve.

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The friend told WSOC the kidnapped teen texted her "to call 911, me and my mom need help fast."

She was treated at a local hospital and is staying with relatives. Authorities were awaiting autopsy results to determine how the mother died.

Love, 47, told officers who came to check on the two that they were at a funeral, before he ran out the back door. He was arrested soon afterward.

It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Media outlets are not identifying the woman and daugher, as investigators say they expect to add sexual abuse charges.

Love had been in North Carolina for several months, Campbell said. The suspect and the woman knew each other years ago when they lived in New York, according to a sheriff's office release.

Local media outlets reported Love was wanted in Ohio for domestic violence and had a protection order against him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.