NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A man charged with abducting 6-year-old Stefanny Lenneth Lopez-Castro from her Monkey Junction area home Wednesday afternoon now faces child sexual assault charges in the case.
Douglas Nelson Edwards, 46, is scheduled to make his first appearance in New Hanover County District Court at 11 a.m. Friday on charges of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, according to a notice from Samantha Dooies, assistant to District Attorney Ben David. He is scheduled to appear before Judge Chad Hogston.
Local and federal authorities located Stefanny at about 10 a.m. Thursday in a wooded area off River Road, less than 2 miles from her home in the 5100 block of Carolina Beach Road from where she was abducted in broad daylight Wednesday afternoon, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer said. Around that same time Thursday morning, Edwards was apprehended on S. College Road.
Stefanny was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and reunited with her family. The family released a statement thanking the community and law enforcement following an emotional press conference led by New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Ed McMahon.
Booking information for Edwards was not immediately available Thursday afternoon.
Check back for more details on this developing story.
Editor’s note: Images of Stefanny have been removed from our stories.