Jessica Pebsworth, Communications Director with the City of Lufkin, has given an update on the reported kidnapping that occurred early this morning.

The mother and child at the center of the possible AMBER ALERT have been located. The suspect, James Earl Cruse, 35, of Dallas, is still at large in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The mother, Brandi Michelle Davis, 47, arrived at a DFW-area police department along with her 8-year-old son, Jordan Davis at 3 p.m. They are both safe and unharmed.

In a phone conversation, she told Lufkin Police detectives that she was able to drive to safety after Cruse, who had been driving, stopped to get gas in the Dallas area.

DFW-area law enforcement officers are actively looking for Cruse. He is described as a black male with black hair and brown eyes,  5’9, 189 pounds with several tattoos, including drama masks on either side of his neck. Cruse should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who encounters him should contact law enforcement immediately.

This incident began around 6 a.m. when Lufkin Police officers were called to the 400 block of Cousart Street to a report of shots fired with a possible gunshot victim bleeding from the head. Officers arrived to find that the victim and suspect were no longer on the scene.

The victim – Davis’ 17-year-old son Caleb Blake – was injured by Cruse during a disturbance. After being injured, Blake borrowed a neighbor’s truck and drove to a friend’s home. The friend then took him to a local hospital.

Cruse left with Davis and her son in a Buick Regal, according to witnesses.

A short time later officers were notified that an assault victim identified as Blake had arrived at a local hospital saying he had been pistol-whipped. He did not have a gunshot wound and appeared stable and ambulatory.

Several hours after the assault, Blake’s status changed to critical. He has since been flown to an out-of-town hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Detectives, family members and hospital staff were unsuccessful in reaching Davis by phone throughout the morning. That coupled with further investigation led detectives to believe that Cruse had possibly taken Davis and her son against their will.

In a phone conversation with detectives, Davis confirmed that Cruse threatened them with the handgun used in the assault.

Cruse has a lengthy criminal history with charges including injury to a child, arson, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and evading arrest. He was sentenced to four years in prison on the injury to a child charged in 2017. That sentence expired in April of this year.

Contributed Photo/LPD
Contributed Photo/LPD

This incident remains under investigation.

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