Car tracker locates kidnapper, victim - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Car tracker locates kidnapper, victim

Arrested: Michael Royal (Source: Dooly Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Arrested: Michael Royal (Source: Dooly Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
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January 5, 2006

Cordele- Cordele Police find a kidnapped woman and her suspected abductor in a remote location using new technology. Quick thinking by relatives and an Americus car dealership allowed police to find the woman quickly and bring her safely home.

Police say in a kidnapping case, time is the biggest factor. Using a satellite car tracking system they were able to solve their most recent kidnapping case before the victim got hurt.

FreeWay Auto Credit in Americus puts a vehicle tracking system on every car they sell. This time, it may have saved Laverne Daniels' life. When her family called police after she was kidnapped all they could tell authorities was she recently bought a new car from FreeWay.

"They did tell us where she purchased the vehicle. We were able to contact the dealership or an employee of the dealership and they were gracious enough to come in and obtain the information about the vehicle," said Carrie Lull, Cordele Police, Special Services Officer.

While they were talking, the employee mentioned the Chevrolet Caprice was equipped with a satellite tracking system.

"Using that satellite tracking we were able to find the exact location of the vehicle, notify Dooly County Sheriff's office, who was able to locate the vehicle, the suspect, and the victim," said Lull.

It led the Dooly County deputies right to Laverne Daniels and her accused captor Michael Royal hiding in a remote barn near this home on Swearengin Road. Royal had a gun.

"It definitely helped our investigation, helped speed up the process because they were in the country in a barn so what are the odds we would have been able to locate them in a county," said Lull.

Police say, the technology saved precious time in a case where time can be a determining factor.

"In a lot of ways, more than one, we're getting a lot of equipment that's able to help us do things in the past we've never been able to do, so technology has definitely gone a long way and is advancing very fast for law enforcement," said Lull.

Cordele Police say, this is the first time they've used a car's tracking system in a kidnapping case, but will remember the technology in the future and will consider it for future cases.

Cordele Police charged Michael Royal with Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, Motor Vehicle theft, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Royal remains in the Dooly County Jail.

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