The sheriff’s office in Cherokee County, Ga., has charged Melvin Floyd, 22, with kidnapping with serious bodily injury, battery and aggravated assault, according to Lt. Jay Baker. As of Wednesday, Floyd was being held at the Cleburne County jail awaiting transportation to Georgia where the beating and kidnapping allegedly occurred.
Floyd was heading west on Interstate 20 around 4 p.m. Sunday when Cleburne County Deputy Lance Willingham pulled the vehicle over for a routine traffic stop, according to Cleburne County Investigator Dennis Green.
Green said Floyd’s body language and his inability to identify the car’s owner led Willingham to search the vehicle. In the trunk of the car, he found a 46-year-old Gadsden resident barely alive, Green said.
The victim was airlifted from Heflin to UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
“I think God must have sent Lance,” Green said, “or else that guy might be dead.”
In an email to The Star, Baker said the victim’s name was Lyndon Baines Smith, but a UAB Hospital spokeswoman said the hospital had no records of a patient with that name.
Green said Wednesday the victim was “progressing” and doing better. On Tuesday, he had been listed in serious but stable condition, according to Green.
In the email, Baker said Smith was visiting with relatives in Georgia and was beaten at a residence before being placed in the trunk of his own car.
Wednesday, crime scene investigators with the Calhoun/Cleburne County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force inspected the gold-colored 2004 Mercury Sable in which the victim was found. Green said Cherokee County officials were hoping fingerprints on the trunk would lead to additional arrests.
“He was a big man,” Green said of the victim. “There’s no way one person could get him in that car.”
Baker said he believes additional arrests in the case are likely.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star