Witness: Missing North Carolina Girl Was Chained To Tree

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A witness says that a 6-year-old North Carolina girl who was found following an 18-hour search was chained to a tree when deputies located her.

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon says the child was found Thursday morning near Wilmington, in woods about 2 miles from her home.

The witness, Jason Mehalko, tells local news outlets he loaned deputies a saw which they then used to free the girl.

Authorities did not immediately confirm the account the child was chained but said more information would be released at a Friday court hearing.

Authorities have charged a registered sex offender with kidnapping and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

The sheriff said that 46-year-old Douglas Edwards has been charged. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

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(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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