Ferrell, 33 is accused of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl on Tuesday morning. The child was found in Polk County, where Ferrell was arrested.
At the hearing he testified this morning before Judge Glenda Caldwell that that he is the girl's father.
"I don't see how you get arrested for taking your own family," Ferrell told the judge.
Caldwell denied Ferrell's bond, saying he was a danger to the victim.
A Rome man accused of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl early Tuesday morning and taking her to a home in Polk County is a convicted felon who got out of prison just two months ago.
James Davenport Ferrell, 33, of 2004 Flannery St., took the girl from her bedroom at her home on Hosea Street in East Rome by prying a screen off the window, police said.
Ferrell was serving a sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Polk County, according to Georgia Department of Corrections’ records.
He was released Aug. 13 after a year in prison. He earlier served more than a year in prison for a possession of cocaine conviction in Bartow County, according to the DOC.
Police say the girl’s mom put her 7-year-old daughter in pink and white pajamas before sending her to bed Monday night, but when the mother went to wake up the child Tuesday morning, she was gone.
Rome police spent much of Tuesday morning looking for the girl in the area of Hosea Street.
Within hours she was recovered in Polk County, where she was taken by Ferrell, a friend of the girl’s mother, police said.
Once Rome detectives had identified Ferrell as a suspect, Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter said he called Polk County Sheriff Kelly McClendon.
While Polk County deputies were searching their records, McClendon got word from a deputy who said Ferrell had called wanting to “file a custody complaint” from his uncle’s house on Springdale Road.
“I am not sure if he wanted to surrender or if he wanted to file a custody complaint on the girlfriend,” McClendon said.
Ferrell came out with his hands up, he said. The child walked out about three to five feet behind him in a pink and white outfit and no shoes.
McClendon placed the girl in his car and took her to Rome.
“She was a polite, very cordial young lady to be 7 years old,” McClendon said. “She was a very sweet little girl.”
Late Tuesday, Rome detectives were still investigating, hoping to determine a motive. Lt. Gary Clayton said they have not talked to Ferrell because he has asked for an attorney.
He remained in the Floyd County Jail on Tuesday evening on kidnapping and burglary charges.
Rome Deputy Chief Lonzo Roberson called the girl’s recovery a joint effort, one that required the help of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and the Floyd County Police Department as well as officers from across county lines. EMA Directory Scotty Hancock helped coordinate the search.
Roberson also credited the Child Abduction Response Team, made up of law enforcement and volunteers from around the community.
“We were not scrambling for resources because this team was ready and in place and prepared to find this little girl,” said Rome juvenile investigator Stephanie Hudson.
Burkhalter said Tuesday night that everyone played a crucial role.
“A lot of times when you have multiple agencies called to the scene you have turf wars, but today everyone knew their jobs and did it,” he said.
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