Vance deputies seeking fugitive with teenage girl

Dec. 10, 2012 @ 05:46 PM

Vance County Sheriff Peter White confirmed on Monday a search is ongoing for a teenage runaway from Henderson and an unauthorized male adult from Pitt County.

The two are believed to be in the Carteret County coastal community of Emerald Isle.

White said law enforcement from Carteret County has indicated possible ties to theft activity involving Jerry Steve Coburn, a 49-year-old from Ayden, and 14-year-old Shelby Kelly, 14. White said it is not the first time the two have been linked to activity together.

Kelly is originally from Ayden.

“The last we heard, they were in the Emerald Isle area,” White said. “This young lady has run away before with this particular guy at least once before that I know of.”

Emerald Isle police have recovered a Ford Crown Victoria stolen from Vance County. White said Coburn and Kelly are suspects in the investigation. The car was discovered in connection to complaints about a break-in.

“We believe they were involved in some incidents, with possibly a break-in there,” White said.

According to White, Coburn is not suspected of abducting Kelly or keeping her against her will.

“We believe that this young lady went with this guy willingly,” he said.

However, White said Coburn is not related to Kelly and has no authorized guardianship. He said it is unlikely but still possible that the two may return to Henderson, where Kelly has been residing after moving from Ayden.

If found, according to White, it is likely that Kelly would be detained in a juvenile facility in Vance County, with the fact that she is a repeat runaway being a consideration for how she would be supervised.

“It would probably be here,” White said, “but if she is determined to run away, that makes it a difficult situation.”

The Daily News of Jacksonville reported Emerald Isle police stated Kelly has been a runaway since Nov. 26.

White did not confirm charges facing Coburn.

According to state prison records and a report in The Daily News, Coburn is a white male, 5-foot-9, weighing about 150 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. Kelly is a white female, 5-foot-1 and weighing about 110 pounds.

State prison records state that on March 15, 2011, Coburn received credit for county jail time served, plus probation and a suspended sentence, for a May 30, 2010, driving while impaired charge in Pitt County. The presiding court hearing was in Ayden.

White said that anyone with additional information on the whereabouts of Coburn and Kelly should call the sheriff’s office at (252) 738-2200.


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