COWETA COUNTY, GEORGIA — The man who has topped the list of Coweta County’s most wanted fugitives since Dec. 8, 2002, when he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and killed her protector, was arrested Friday in Philadelphia.
Indicted for murder in absentia in 2004 for allegedly killing Kerry Arnold in a Main Street home in Newnan before kidnapping Karon Moss, Warner Lee Arnold is now in custody.
Warner Arnold was picked up by authorities in Philadelphia Friday, according to Coweta Circuit Assistant District Attorney Ray Mayer. Prosecutors in Mayer’s office had Warner Arnold indicted on charges of murder, felony murder, burglary, aggravated assault, and kidnapping with bodily injury in January 2004.
Now, the prosecutors are waiting to see if Warner Arnold will waive extradition from Pennsylvania to Coweta County or if he will have to be extradited, said Mayer Friday.
In 2002, officers and deputies searched the woods and barns in the area of Happy Valley Circle and Buddy West Road several times with dogs, and once with heat-sensing equipment on loan for a day from the Georgia State Patrol. The detectives searched wells, Warner Arnold’s boyhood haunts and areas in-between — but not a trace was found of the suspect or the gun he allegedly used.
Before Friday, some law enforcement officials had speculated Warner Arnold was no longer alive because he “vanished” after wrecking his vehicle and shooting Moss, then 36, twice. He was last seen walking into the woods on Happy Valley Circle that Sunday night, armed with a .38 caliber pistol — then the trail went cold.
Moss had ended a relationship with Warner Arnold after dating approximately three months, and by Dec. 8 Arnold had been out of the home for several weeks.
Unhappy about the breakup, Warner Arnold began placing harassing phone calls to Moss, who subsequently asked Kerry Arnold to move in with her and their daughter to protect them in their home off Old Jefferson Street. Moss and Kerry Arnold had a child together, who was 10-years-old at the time.
In the week leading up to the incident, police had been called several times to the Moss residence in reference to harassing phone calls, and she was advised of warrant and restraining order procedures.
That Sunday night in 2002, Warner Arnold went to Moss’ home and allegedly shot Kerry Arnold in the chest upon entering the home — killing him. The 10-year-old daughter was in the home at the time, and after Warner Arnold kidnapped Moss and left, she called police. Neighbors reported seeing Moss leave with her ex-boyfriend. Authorities believed that Warner Arnold let himself into the home. Kerry Arnold was found dead in a front room of the home.
At 9:51 p.m., a passing motorist called for an ambulance on Happy Valley Circle. The motorist found Moss on the side of the road, screaming for help and suffering from gunshot wounds to the shoulder and arm.
Apparently there was a struggle inside Moss’ car, and the vehicle left the roadway and went into some trees just past Buddy West Road. Moss was shot as she fled Warner Arnold outside of the car, and authorities believe the motorist who showed up immediately after the crash scared off Moss’ attacker. The motorist reported seeing a man walk into the woods.
After the incident, authorities found that Warner Arnold had been released from the Georgia prison system about a year before the 2002 killing. He had served time for aggravated stalking and aggravated assault.
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