Man accused of kidnapping teen stepdaughter, booked in Fulton Co. Jail

UPDATE (MAY 26,2017) : FULTON CO., Ga. (WJBF)  Leon Tripp, the stepfather to missing person LaTania Carwell has moved from DeKalb County jail to Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Ga.

Tripp was charged with Probation Violation-Aggravated Stalking and was previously changed in 2009 with Aggravated Assault and Theft By Taking-Firearm.

WJBF NewsChannel 6 will have more as the story develops and are currently waiting on his extradition.


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Richmond County Authorities began investigating Tanya Tripp’s former home on Wednesday.

Stay with NewsChannel 6 for the latest.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – LaTania Carwell has not been seen since April 17th and now her mother is in trouble with the law.

Her stepfather, Leon Tripp is too.  He sits in jail Tuesday night after an arrest in the Atlanta area for aggravated stalking.

The mother of the little girl was also arrested and is in jail.  She is charged with Hindering the Apprehension of a Criminal.

U.S. Marshals arrested Leon Tripp Tuesday morning at a business in DeKalb County.

NewsChannel 6 spoke with a source with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and he told us investigators from Richmond County and Fulton County worked together to locate Tanya Tripp.  Investigators said she had been in contact with her husband and relocated her residence from Augusta, in the 3100 block of Tate Street, to a home in Atlanta where she was living with him, the man accused of kidnapping their daughter.

We spoke with Tanya Tripp’s brother and LaTania’s uncle, Charles Carwell shortly after the arrest of Leon Tripp.

“It’s half of it.  The other half is bringing her home,” he said.

Carwell said he just wants his niece back home in Augusta.

“Glad they got him in custody and hopefully he can lead us to her.”

LaTania Carwell is still missing, despite the 16-year-old’s mother and stepfather both being in custody. Charles Carwell told us back in April that he received a tip that his niece was seen walking down Belvedere-Clearwater Road between Irene Street and Lakeview Drive, but investigators didn’t get that tip.   Carwell said he believes his niece is probably in the same area where Tripp was arrested.

“At this point, I would think that if he is caught in Atlanta she would be in the Atlanta area also,” he said.  “I wouldn’t think she would be around here and just stay away like that.  That would make no sense.  It’s possible, but unlikely I think at this point.”

Tanya Tripp kept her story the entire time, telling NewsChannel 6 on multiple occasions that her daughter left with her husband to help a man with car trouble in South Carolina.  She said LaTania, often called Janell by family, helped her stepdad with the cell phone GPS.  The two never returned.  Now, investigators are charging Tanya Tripp with her connection to her husband who was a fugitive, wanted for kidnapping.

All Charles Carwell wants is his niece found.

“All signs point back to him,” Carwell said.  “She didn’t take him.  She can’t force him to do anything.  Not sure really how he got her to go with him.  But, it’s his influence getting her to leave the home.”

Charles Carwell said the family is still offering a reward for the location of LaTania Carwell.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Richmond County Investigators have released new details in the arrest of Leon Tripp.

Tripp was arrested by US Marshals in Dekalb County for kidnapping charges.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Tanya Faye Tripp (the biological mother of missing teen Latania Carwell) was in contact with Leon Tripp and had recently moved to the Atlanta area to be with Leon Tripp.

Tanya has now been arrested for Hindering the Apprehension of a Criminal. 

The whereabouts of Latania Carwell are still unknown. 

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a man accused of kidnapping his stepdaughter has been arrested in Dekalb County.

38-year-old Leon Lamar Tripp was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with aggravated stalking.

Tripp is the man accused of kidnapping his stepdaughter, 16-year-old Latania Carwell.

Carwell was last seen with her stepfather on April 17th, after Tripp told his wife he and the teen were going to Clarks Hill, SC to help a stranded friend.

Stay with NewsChannel 6 for the latest details in this case.

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