Atlanta area suspect caught in North Augusta



A kidnapping suspect out of suburban Atlanta’s Henry County was apprehended Wednesday morning at the South Carolina Welcome Center while sleeping in his vehicle.

According to Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Troy Elwell, a deputy discovered Michael Payne’s Mercury Sable parked at the Aiken County welcome center off Interstate 20 around 1:30 a.m., approximately 30 minutes after receiving a bulletin about the vehicle. The deputy called for backup after he discovered Payne, 36, sleeping in the driver’s seat.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol and North Augusta Public Safety assisted in the case.

A handgun, which later turned out to be a toy, was discovered in the vehicle.

Elwell said Payne is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center for kidnapping and aggravated assault stemming from the Henry County incident. Specific details on the Henry County case were not immediately available.