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Editorial. A10

A 26-year-old Charleston man has been arrested in connection with a home invasion and abduction of a 4-month-old girl last week in Orangeburg County.

The baby was abandoned shortly after on a roadside in Berkeley County. The child was found safe along a highway by a group of church members after she was taken from her family at gunpoint. She was returned to her Holly Hill home.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday charged Rondell Robert Washington of Carondolet Street with kidnapping, first-degree burglary, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and unlawful neglect of a child.

He is being held in the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center. Authorities are still searching for six others in the home invasion case.

"We will not stop looking for the misfits who entered this home, physically and mentally abusing a family, and removing a helpless child from her caregivers," said Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell. "Our investigation won't stop until all the persons have answered to their charges."

Ravenell said the North Charleston Police Department and the Sheriff's Office conducted "an extensive investigation" to locate Washington.

He had been released on bail the day before from the Cannon Detention Center on criminal domestic violence charges, according to Charleston County jail records.

Seven men with guns burst into the Catamount Road home at 3:55 p.m. on Jan. 14 and forced three adults and six children to the floor, according to a report.

Two men struck a 52-year-old woman in the head with a gun while she was protecting her grandson, according to the report.

he was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The men drove off with the 4-month-old in a car, leaving the distraught father standing in the yard.

Officials were looking for a red Chevrolet Impala and a green Ford Explorer that witnesses said left the house with the baby.

Emergency workers checked out the infant after she was found and determined that she was fine. The Sheriff's Office then contacted the baby's parents, who came to pick her up.

The girl was found wrapped in a blanket on damp grass along S.C. Highway 311.