Kidnapping suspect thought she was sent by Jesus

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Suspect, a pastor’s wife, facing felony charges

JONESBORO, Ark. – Authorities have ordered a mental health evaluation for Melanie Carter, 39, who was arrested last Friday after video showed her attempting to take a juvenile from a convenience store.

It was one of two incidents that day of similar nature – the other which happened at The Mall at Turtle Creek, afterward. Carter was arrested at The Mall.

On Monday, her bond was set at $10,000, she was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation Monday.

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The probable cause affidavit states a juvenile in the food court was the victim of Carter’s second deranged effort. Officers with JPD responded, learning of what happened. The victims said Carter sat down at their table and began to speak to a 4-year-old child about being “sent by Jesus to save her from a kidnapper, referring to her mother.” Carter grabbed the child and tried to keep her away from the mother but the mother actively engaged Carter, the report said. Mall security intervened and prevented any injuries or further incidents. Carter was handcuffed and taken to jail.

Police had been called to a convenience store earlier in the day where Carter had behaved similarly but she escaped before they could reach her.

Detective Shane Fox with CID attempted to interview the woman but she refused to speak, mostly. The only things she said were that she was trying to “save people” and “minister to them.” She is facing two counts of first degree false imprisonment. Each count is a class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Her court date is 9:30 AM on March 22, 2019.

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Carter lives in Marked Tree but her Facebook profile says she was born in Chicago. She is married to a minister, Terry Carter, who refers to his wife as “1st Lady Melanie Carter.” In an all-caps post on Facebook on January 13, Terry thanked her for having an “ear to hear what the spirit is saying unto the church.”

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