Kemper County Suspect Caught on Camera

By: Wayne Burns Email
By: Wayne Burns Email

Newscenter 11 was inadvertently drawn into an investigation of rape and kidnapping this week in Kemper County.

Daniel R. Zales was charged with rape and kidnapping by the Kemper County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators say Zales held a woman against her will at a restaurant near the lignite coal plant.

"Sheriff's department got a call from down on Highway 493 at TM'S Snack Shack that some strange activity was going on with a male and female subject," said Sheriff James Moore. "By the time the officer got there, they had left the scene."

Newscenter 11 was at the restaurant shooting an unrelated story Wednesday when Zales showed up, with the alleged victim, and asked us to get him on camera, claiming he was about to get married.

Newscenter 11 turned the camera on after Zales continually pushed for it, to avoid a confrontation. He left not long after that.

Moore said Zales brought the woman to the Kemper County Courthouse to get a marriage license, where he allegedly falsified documentation. But that gave the woman the opportunity to escape. She ran to the police station across the street.

"He was trying to get her to marry him, and he was doing that against her will," Moore said.

Moore said Zales has already spent time in prison, also on a rape charge. He says this latest incident happened before Zales and the victim arrived at the restaurant and approached Newscenter 11.

Zales' bond was set at a total of $200,000.


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