‘This is stuff that horror movies are made from’ sheriff says; Manhunt for Alabama kidnapping suspect continues

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A massive manhunt was underway Tuesday for a man police say followed an elderly Alabama woman home and kidnapped her at knifepoint. She was found hours later alive, bound and duct-taped in the suspect’s closet.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said Tuesday that it’s a miracle officers were able to quickly locate Betty Cobb alive. Her alleged assailant Tony Lamar White, 47, remains on the run.

“This is stuff that horror movies are made from,” Wade said. “This guy is definitely somebody who is dangerous and we have to get him.”

Cobb disappeared on July 4.

“As she went shopping a person was prowling the parking lot and he picked her out as a person he wanted to victimize,” Wade said. “And he followed her from that store to another store and to another store and then he followed her to her home.

“And when he got there, she was unloading her groceries, he attacked her, forcing her into the trunk of her vehicle and forcing her to his home.”

Investigators quickly located an image of White’s vehicle, which led to his address.

Cobb was found inside a closet in White’s home, bound and duct-taped.

“She thought she was going to die,” Wade said.

Wade said investigators believe White may wind up being a suspect in a series of rapes of elderly women dating back to the July 2012. Wade said investigators have DNA from two rapes, one in July 2012 and another in July 2013, but had never been able to match the DNA with any suspect.

As soon as White is located, Wade said investigators planned to see if the DNA matches.

“If it is connected, he’s a dangerous person,” Wade said.

Investigators ask anyone with the whereabouts of White to call 911 or the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office at 256-236-6600, a $2,500 reward is offered for information that leads to White’s arrest.