Text message helps unravel N.C. crime


Associated Press

STATESVILLE, N.C.

A text message to a friend guided rescuers to a teen girl held captive in the North Carolina home where her mother was also slain.

Authorities say Gary Love of Wadsworth, Ohio, held the 14–year–old captive for days and killed her mother in a grisly crime revealed after the girl was rescued Monday.

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday that authorities were adding counts against him including felony sex offenses with a child, kidnapping and assault on a female.

He had already been charged with murder in the mother’s death.

The friend who notified authorities, 13–year–old Savannah Evans, tells WSOC–TV that she woke up Monday to see the unsettling text message from her friend.

She said that she and her grandmother called deputies to ask for help.

One of the text messages, which Evans showed to WSOC, stated: “call 911 me and my mom need help FAST!!”

The Associated Press is not identifying the girl or her mother because the suspect is accused of sex crimes.

Savannah Evans’ mother, Stephanie Evans, told the station that she’s shocked by what happened.

“Can’t believe this. It is something out of the movies,” she said.

After the girl was rescued, the teen sent her friend a message saying she was a “lifesaver.”

“That really broke my heart,” Stephanie Evans said.

Love, 47, has been in North Carolina for about 90 days, according to the sheriff. Authorities say he knew the slain woman from a time when both lived in New York years ago.

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