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02/24/2011

RURAL NORFORK AREA MAN'S ATTEMPT TO EXTORT CASH FROM A WOMAN FAILS AND ENDS WITH HIS ARREST

     Sheriff’s Investigators on Wednesday evening arrested a Norfork area man, Gerald VanLandingham, on two felony charges related to his attempt to extort money from a Mountain Home woman.

     The victim told Sheriff’s Investigators that she found a hand written note left inside her mailbox.  The note alleged the victim’s son owed $250,000 to the person having written the note and demanded the payment of $100,000 in cash to be delivered to a specified location by February 24th.  The letter warned the victim not to notify law enforcement, and the writer of the note warned he would begin killing people if his demands were not met.  The writer of the note alleged that he had the victim’s home, her phone, and her son’s phone under surveillance, as well as the people she talks with.  The note said, “This is not a joke please don’t think it is.  BOOM”.

     A suspect was soon developed during the investigation, and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was asked to review the evidence and statements.  The suspect was found at his home at 1933 Jordan Road Wednesday evening and taken into custody without incident.  He subsequently gave a confession to Sheriff’s Investigators, admitting that he had written the note and placed it in the victim’s mailbox.

     GERALD VANLANDINGHAM, 45 years old of rural Norfork, was incarcerated in the Detention Center on the following charges:

            Terroristic Threatening – Felony
            Criminal Attempt to Commit Theft – Felony

     VanLandingham remains in custody with bond currently set at $200,000.  He is scheduled for a first appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court today.

           

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

 
 
 
 
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