By: Kyle James | 09-11-2017 | News
Photo credit: The Goldwater

Kentucky Man Arrested For Kidnapping And Murder After Throwing Mother Off 80 Foot Cliff And Killing

A Jackson County woman and her son have been kidnapped and assaulted. The Kentucky State Police are investigating the crime which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, September 9th. Around 10:45 am. Kentucky State Police and Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of an injured female who had been found by hikers. The woman was Jessica Durham and she had been found at the bottom of an 80 foot cliff near Sparks Ridge Road.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: WOWK</span>

She was able to describe her assailant to troopers and told them she and her son, James Spoonamore, age 5, was assaulted and kidnapped by a man named Lonnie Belt,41, from Mckee. Durham told troopers that her attacker had forced her over the cliff and that was when she last saw her son. Durham was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with non-life threatening but serious injuries. A search began for James Spoonamore with hundreds of volunteers from multiple agencies. There were police helicopters, Nation Guard, K-9 units and even riders on horseback searching for the missing boy and his captor. Kentucky State Police located Lonnie Belt and questioned him around 1:39 p.m. that day and he was taken into custody later that night. Belt was jailed at the Jackson County Detention Center and charged with Assault 1st, Kidnapping-Adult, Kidnapping-Minor and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

The search for Durham's missing son continued and he was finally found Monday morning, September 11th around 9:30 a.m. but he was deceased. The Medical Examiner’s office in Frankfort is conducting an autopsy to determine how he died. Troopers investigating are working with prosecutors to determine any additional charges stemming from the boys death. He has been charged with murder for the death of James Spoonamore and the investigation continues by Kentucky State Police detectives.

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