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Woman charged with kidnapping, child neglect

December 21, 2016


LEXINGTON, S.C. – A Columbia woman has been charged with kidnapping and unlawful neglect of a child after forcing her mother and two children out of a home and into a car at gunpoint.


Lauren Barnhardt, 32, restricted the movement of her mother and stepfather Tuesday morning when she unlawfully pointed a firearm at them, according to arrest warrants. The warrants also state Barnhardt prevented her mother and stepfather from leaving their South Stonehedge Drive home.


“Ms. Barnhardt showed up at the house and demanded her children,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “The children were at the home legally and with Ms. Barnhardt’s permission.”


Barnhardt drove the children and her mother to an ex-boyfriend’s house in Columbia where Lexington County deputies arrested her without incident, according to Koon.


Barnhardt is charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of pointing and presenting a firearm at a person.


She’s being held in the Lexington County Detention Center while she awaits a bond hearing.

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