UPDATE - June 6, 11:55 a.m.: Emma Grace Kennedy has been found safe at a mobile home in North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. Her father, Carl Kennedy, was arrested.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities in Virginia and North Carolina are searching for a convicted sex offender who kidnapped his 7-month-old daughter from her mother at knifepoint, police said Monday.
Police in Danville, Virginia, said Emma Grace Kennedy was taken by her father, 51-year-old Carl Ray Kennedy, at a Kwik Stop. The gas station is about three hours southwest of Richmond on the North Carolina border.
Virginia State Police issued an Amber Alert and said the infant is believed to be in "extreme danger.''
Danville police Lt. Michael Wallace declined to release the name of the girl's 32-year-old mother because the department typically does not identify victims.
Authorities said Carl Kennedy is registered as a sex offender in Asheboro, which is 30 minutes south of Greensboro, North Carolina. He's currently out of jail on a US$250,000 bond on a drug distribution charge.
North Carolina incarceration records show Kennedy was convicted in 2014 on a felony charge of strangulation and a charge of misdemeanour sexual battery. Sexual battery means he engaged in sexual contact with someone against his or her will or with someone who was mentally disabled or physically incapacitated, according to the state's criminal code.
He was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Assistant Chief Mark Lineberry of the Asheboro Police Department told the Courier-Tribune of Asheboro that the charges stemmed from a report by a woman that Kennedy assaulted her at a home.
Suspect has active warrant for failing to register as a sex offender
Asheboro is in Randolph County, where Sheriff's Capt. Bernie Maness said authorities had no information on his whereabouts. He said authorities are checking out tips from people about places he's been seen in the past.
Randolph County sheriff's Capt. Jason Chabot said Kennedy has an active warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.
In March, Kennedy was arrested on drug charges, including felony possession of cocaine. The Courier-Tribune reports he was living in Randleman, about 10 miles (16 kilometres) north of Asheboro, when he was arrested.
Kennedy is described in the police alert as a white man with grey hair, five feet 8 inches, weighing 170 pounds, last seen driving a gold four-door Suzuki, with the North Carolina tag FAA-1873 or EKZ 5093. Police said he has tattoos of skulls on his forearms, an eye on the back of his right hand, a pit bull with "American bulldog'' written under it on his upper right arm, and a wizard on his upper left arm.
Emma, the alert said, was last seen in a light blue onesie.
Finley reported from Norfolk, Virginia.