Man arrested after woman, 75, found taped up in closet, police say

Betty Cobb, 75, was found taped up in a closet around 7:15 p.m. on July 4.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 8:30 AM EDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC/Gray News) – Troopers with Kentucky State Police arrested a man accused of kidnapping a 75-year-old woman and leaving her tied up in a closet.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade told WBRC that Tony White, 47, was caught in Richmond, Kentucky, around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, one day after the woman was rescued.

Betty Cobb, 75, was found taped up in a closet around 7:15 p.m. on Monday. Wade said Cobb was located within six hours of her being reported missing.

Authorities said they believe White followed Cobb home from the grocery store and kidnapped her. They say she was stuffed inside a car trunk and attacked with a knife before being tied up.

Investigators said they used security footage from stores she had visited to determine a suspect vehicle, which led authorities to investigate several residences connected to the suspect.

According to Wade, Cobb was a well-known volunteer firefighter and drove an ambulance in the community. He said she is kind and has a big heart.

“She would take the shirt off her back and hand it to you,” Assistant Fire Chief Jason Austin said. “That is just the type of lady she is.”

Austin said Cobb was a fighter and believes that’s what kept her alive.

“Whatever he did or however he did what he did to her, it wasn’t easy. She fought. Without a doubt, she’ll fight till the end, and that is why she is still here today. She didn’t give in. She fought till the end,” Austin said.

Wade said they believe White randomly targeted Cobb because she is elderly.

They believe he targets this age group specifically and may even be linked to two other kidnapping cases from 2012 and 2013. They now plan to run his DNA in those cases.

He is now in a Kentucky jail awaiting trial for extradition back to Alabama.

Tony White is accused of kidnapping Betty Cobb.
Tony White is accused of kidnapping Betty Cobb.(Madison County Detention Center)

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