Sheriff: Cartel contacted East Tennessee fugitive’s family for ransom | WJHL


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – After an escapee from an East Tennessee jail was found dead in Mexico, Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said the escapee’s family were contacted by a person suspected of being a member of a drug cartel who demanded a ransom in exchange for the return of her body.

Charles Kennedy, 35, had been on the run since July after escaping from Fentress County Jail before the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced on January 24 that he was found dead in Iguala, Guerrero, in Mexico, about three hours southwest of Mexico City. .

Kennedy and inmate Casey Ridenour took a corrections officer’s car after escaping from jail and drove at speeds of 130 mph before stopping in Jamestown to run on foot. Ridenour was captured the following day, while Kennedy remained at large.

Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton told WATE that a person from Mexico, suspected of being a member of a drug cartel, sent a video of Kennedy’s body to his family asking him to leave. money in exchange for his return.

Roane County District Attorney Russell Johnson confirmed that Kennedy’s body is currently in a morgue in Mexico. Stockton said he was told the U.S. Marshals Service was working with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and Mexican authorities to get Kennedy’s body back to the United States.

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