State troopers discover alleged kidnapper, his victims on traffic stop

Published 7:25 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Missouri man suspected in a kidnapping in Tennessee was found during a traffic stop in Mississippi over the weekend, authorities said.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol also safely located two kidnapping victims — a woman and her 10-month-old daughter, authorities said in a news release Tuesday.

A state trooper received information Saturday of a vehicle headed west on U.S. 72 near Corinth possibly being driven by Tony L. Lanier, Sr., 44, of Cooter, Missouri.

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Troopers stopped the vehicle after noticing that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt and the tag information did not match the vehicle.

After confirming Lanier was the kidnapping suspect, he was arrested and taken to the Alcorn County jail.

The kidnapping victims were identified as Krista Trapp and her daughter, Braelee Trapp.

Both were taken to the sheriff’s office where a victims advocate helped them further, the highway patrol said.

“This is an example of the important work our troopers and agents are doing, day in day in and day out,” said Col. Randy Ginn, director of MHP. “Because this trooper was alert and thorough, a mother and her child were rescued and a dangerous criminal has been taken off our highways.”

Officials did not say where or when the victims had been kidnapped or whether the suspect knew them.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol did not immediately return a message seeking more details.

Lanier is awaiting extradition to Tennessee where he faces charges of kidnapping.

He’s also facing charges of parole violations in Missouri. Records did not indicate whether Lanier had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.