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      Man wanted for stalking, kidnapping and sexual assault in Irondale arrested by US Marshals

      Richard Earl Hayes, 45, is wanted in connection with a kidnapping and sexual assault of a 42-year-old Irondale woman Tuesday afternoon.

      Update 6:20 p.m.

      The man wanted in connection with a stalking, kidnapping and sexual assault investigation in Irondale has been arrested Wednesday night, ABC 33/40 reporter Haley Westbrook has learned.

      US Marshals arrested 45-year-old Richard Earl Hayes one day after he allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 42-year-old woman he had stalked for 10 days prior to the incident.

      We will continue to follow this developing story and provide updates as more information is made available.


      IRONDALE, Ala. -- A search is currently underway for a man who allegedly stalked an Irondale woman for 10 days before kidnapping and sexually assaulting her Tuesday, police announced at a news conference Wednesday.

      Richard Earl Hayes, 45, is accused of harassing the 42-year-old victim for several days prior to kidnapping and sexually assaulting the woman, who said the incident happened after the suspect forced her to pull her vehicle over sometime after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

      While police say there wasn't a pre-existing relationship between Hayes and the victim, they believe the incident wasn't a random act of violence.

      "This isn't a random act," Detective Michael Mangina said during the news conference. "This lady was specifically targeted and we're trying to figure out why."

      Authorities say Hayes may have a connection to the victim's boyfriend, who was also contacted by the suspect by phone in the days leading up to the sexual assault.

      The victim told investigators Hayes was carrying a handgun during the attack and he may be driving one of four vehicles:{} a black SUV, a gray Dodge Charger, an older brown car or a black pickup truck.

      If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Hayes and/or the crime, you're asked to please contact the Irondale Police Department at 205-956-5990.