By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Police have arrested one man suspected of the reported kidnapping that occurred in the vicinity of 40 Cottage St. late last Sunday night, and arrested another man on drug charges after seizing a "significant amount" of methamphetamine, heroin and pills in relation to the kidnapping case.
James Lemmond, 32, whose last known address is Monroe Street in Concord, was arrested by Concord Police at his place of work on Tuesday morning on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery. He refused bail and is being held in Belknap County Jail pending his arraignment in Belknap County Superior Court this afternoon.
Capt. Matt Canfield of the Laconia Police said that Lemmond was identified as the suspect on the strength of information provided by the victim of the alleged kidnapping, who was only found after much searching late Monday afternoon at the Landmark Inn. She had not been harmed.
The arrest followed an intensive investigation that began with a report that a man had dragged a screaming woman into a black GMC Terrain by her hair in the vicinity of 40 Cottage St. around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. The witness who reported the incident told police he attempted to follow the vehicle and recorded its plate number. He said that he heard a shot fired as the Terrain reached Baldwin Street. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Concord.
Canfield said the woman told police that after being forced into the Terrain, Lemmond took a small amount of cash from her purse and her cell phone and, while holding a gun to her head, drove to Academy Street, where she was able to escape from the vehicle and flee.
Canfield said that when the incident occurred on Sunday, there was what he called a "disturbance" at 40 Cottage St., which police believed was related to the reported kidnapping. But, he said that after speaking with a number of individuals on Monday, officers found their statement so inconsistent that they began to question everything that happened, including the reported kidnapping. However, once the victim was located, a suspect was identified and a warrant was issued, leading to the arrest of Lemmond on Tuesday morning.
Brian Norris, 31, a transient with the last known address of 477 White Oaks Road, Barnstead, was arrested Monday afternoon at the Landmark in, suspected of trafficking in drugs. He is being held in Belknap County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail following his arraignment on charges of possession of a narcotic drug with intent to distribute (methamphetamine), possession of a narcotic drug (heroin) and two counts of possession of a controlled drug (buprenorphine and clonazapram)in Belknap County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Capt. Matt Canfield said that officers found Norris while searching the hotel for the victim of the alleged kidnapping on Cottage Street on Sunday night.
Police estimated the street value of the drugs in Norris's possession, which included 42 grams of methamphetamine, at $9,000.
Police urge anyone with information bearing on this case to contact the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crimeline at 527-1717.