Ronnie Lou Helton

CORBIN, Ky. — A Corbin man who has been accused of attempting to kidnap and then offering $1,000 for a toddler is set to appear in Whitley District Court on Monday.

Ronnie Lou Helton, 73, of Corbin, was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping of a minor and promoting human trafficking of a victim under 18 years of age after the Corbin Police Department were called to a residence on Gordon Hill Pike on Wednesday evening.

Kristy Baker, the child’s grandmother, reported to police that a male subject, later identified as Helton, walked over to where he 3-year-old grandchild was playing on a trailer and began attempting to assist him to the other side of the fence by holding his hand and leading him to where the trailer sloped higher up on the fence.


Baker told police that when she began to yell at the subject, he released the child who then ran to her.

According to the arrest citation, Helton walked into the family’s yard as the child ran from Baker to her boyfriend, Tony Goodwin, who was coming from around the back of the house.


“Goodwin reported that the 3-year-old clinched his leg and hid behind him,” the arrest citation read. Goodwin then reported that Helton offered $1,000 for the child.

After Goodwin yelled for the man to leave, Helton went back across the road to where his vehicle was parked and left, according to the arrest citation.

Baker was able to give police a license plate number along with a description of the vehicle and suspect, who was later located at an apartment on American Greeting Card Road where he was arrested. 

Helton was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center where he remains. He is set to appear in Whitley District Court on Monday at 9:05 a.m.

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