Anderson found safe, three arrested for kidnapping

Anderson found safe, three arrested for kidnapping
04 May 2018

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that Melony Anderson was found safe and unharmed in Batesville, MS on May 3, 2018 and three subjects were taken into custody. Elizabeth Sanford, 36, Laurel Smith, 22, and Shannon Leonard, 27, all of Center, were arrested by the Batesville Police Department (BPD) on warrants out of Shelby County for Kidnapping (F-3)


              Elizabeth Sanford                                 Laurel Smith                                     Shannon Leonard


Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Investigators Carmen Fears, Chad Brown and Adam Renfro were able to ping a phone belonging to one of the subjects. The whereabouts of the subjects and Anderson was passed on to the Texas Ranger Jim Hicks who kept BPD abreast on their location.

Fears and Renfro will travel to Mississippi Monday, May 7 with Hicks to interview the subjects. They will be taken before a magistrate in Mississippi to sign extradition, after which they will be picked up by the SCSO and transported back to Center for arraignment on kidnapping charges.

This case is still under investigation at this time.

The SCSO would like to thank the public and all media outlets who shared the press release concerning Anderson’s appearance. We greatly appreciate your assistance.