NEW ALBANY — A man arrested late last week and charged with kidnapping now faces new charges, one alleging he sexually abused the child.
Murphy Edwards, 22, was initially charged with a level 5 felony for kidnapping and a level 6 felony for failure to register as a sex offender. On Thursday, the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office added two new charges — a level 1 felony for molestation and an enhancement for being a repeat sexual offender.
Court records show officers with the New Albany Police Department responded to a convenience store on Bono Road June 6 on a report of a child under 14 who had been found at the intersection of West Lewis and Walnut streets after being missing for a short time.
The child had been at the store when she later told investigators that a man, who police later identified as Edwards, lured her into a wooded area near the store by offering her money but saying the child had to follow him to get it. Once there, police say he covered the child’s mouth and sexually abused her, according to a news release sent Thursday. She ran from him and was located nearby.
“I commend the New Albany Police Department and the Southern Indiana Child Advocacy Center for their diligent efforts in investigating this matter,” said Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Chris Lane in the news release. “Our office will continue working to bring justice to victims and the community.”
During the investigation, police spoke with the owner of the store who confirmed that Edwards worked there and viewed surveillance footage that corroborated the child’s story of going into the woods. When questioned by police, Edwards said he had lived nearby and worked at the store for about four months.
At the time of his arrest June 8, Edwards also had an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender related to a level 3 felony rape conviction in 2017 in Marion County.
He is being held in Floyd County jail on a $250,000 cash bond.