Rawlings formally charged with kidnapping, gets $400,000 bond in Vicksburg court

Published 3:36 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

Eric Eugene Rawlings Jr. appeared before municipal court Judge Angela Carpenter Thursday afternoon, where he was formally charged with two counts of kidnapping.

Following a manhunt in Slidell, La., that lasted more than 24 hours and involved local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, Rawlings returned to Vicksburg Wednesday evening in the care of a bounty hunter and bail bond service contracted by his family. He turned himself in to the Vicksburg Police Department shortly after his arrival without incident.

Rawlings fled barefoot from a Red Roof Inn in Slidell on Tuesday as local authorities recovered his two children and took the children’s mother, Ronneisha Evans, into custody. Also recovered from the scene was a newborn identified as “Baby Doe,” who, based on information from Vicksburg Police and Rawlings’ social media live feeds, was born in the early Monday morning while the couple was on the run with the children.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The ordeal began when an Amber Alert was issued by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation for Rawlings, Evans and their two children on Sunday. At the time the alert was listed, the pair did not have legal custody of the children.

Slidell police, Louisiana State Police, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Customs partnered on the search for Rawlings. The authorities “exhausted all options” to locate Rawlings, using drones, K9 units and helicopters.

Rawlings also had two contempt misdemeanor charges to answer for in court, Kimble said.

Arraignment for Evans is tentatively scheduled for Friday pending her release from medical care following the birth of Baby Doe.