Police Call Suspect Of Barbaric Case An Animal - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Police Call Suspect Of Barbaric Case An Animal

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By Brent Frazier 

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - A suspected kidnapper and rapist remains on the loose, and 35-year-old Richard Elam Cathey's family is assisting authorities by pleading for him to surrender. 

"I've not seen him, and I've not talked to him," said the suspect's mother, Elaine Cathey from her Woodbury home. "He should turn himself in." 

Richard Cathey Jr. faces charges of especially aggravated kidnap and aggravated assault in Bedford County. There is also a rape charge in Cannon County for the Mother's Day kidnapping and days-long torture of a Shelbyville woman whose identity NewsChannel 5 is protecting. 

Shelbyville Police Department detective Charles Merlo assures the public that Cathey's alleged attack and rape were not random. He knew his alleged victim pretty well. 

"He took her by the hair of the head and started beating her head into the dashboard and the steering wheel of [her pickup] truck," said Merlo, describing the woman's account of what played out. "[Cathey] proceeded to defecate and urinate on her while she was in the front seat of the truck." 

Merlo said, according to the woman's account, Cathey drove her up and down rural roads for hours and held her captive in a house with no electricity and no running water. He denied her food and water the first couple days, and allegedly raped her in Cannon County. 

The investigator said Cathey even allegedly went so far as to threaten to put his victim's body in a shallow grave. 

"He was going to tie her to a pole, set her on fire, take pictures of her while she is burning so that he can send it to her children, and put her in the hole so she would never be found," said Merlo. 

Shelbyville police do consider Cathey to be armed and dangerous. Authorities ask the general public to not approach him, but to call police immediately if Cathey is spotted.

E-mail: bfrazier@newschannel5.com

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