POLICE: Louisville man kidnapped victim - WDRB 41 Louisville News

POLICE: Louisville suspect kidnapped man two days before he was found dead

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police say they have charged a Louisville man after he allegedly kidnapped a man two days before he was found dead.

It happened Oct. 24, according to an arrest report.

That's when police say 44-year-old Joseph E. Starling, along with unidentified accomplices, showed up at a home on Stardust Dr., near the corner of Dixie Hwy. and Fincastle Trail and approached the male victim.

When the victim tried to run away, police say Starling's accomplices chased him, caught him and beat him. They then allegedly put him in a vehicle driven by Starling.

The victim was then taken to another location, which is not identified in the report. Police say when they arrived, Starling and one of his accomplices pulled him out of the vehicle and began beating him again.

Police say that was the last time the victim was ever seen alive.

Two days later, police say the man's body was discovered hanging over a guardrail in Bullitt County, within three miles of his home.

WDRB reported in October that the body of 45-year-old Robert Holt in the Knob Creek area that afternoon. The body was 10 feet from the guardrail on Weavers Run Road.

Police say they caught up with Starling early Sunday morning as he was driving a vehicle on Hurstbourne Pkwy., near the I-64 interchange, in what police called a "high crime / narcotics area."

When Jeffersontown Police ran his license plate, they discovered that there were warrants for his arrest.

Police say they followed his car onto eastbound I-64, where he allegedly began driving in a "careless manner, without regard to other motorists." He soon exited to southbound I-265, and was allegedly seen driving "at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of other cars on the highway."

Police eventually stopped him on southbound I-265, near Taylorsville Rd.

When they approached him, they allegedly detected the strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Police say they also found -- among other things -- six capsules containing "suspected meth" in his pocket, roughly $370 in cash and drug scales.

Starling is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and careless driving in connection with the traffic stop.

He is charged with kidnapping in connection with the Oct. 24 incident involving the man who was beaten, whose body was discovered two days later.

There is no word yet if he is facing any charges in Bullitt County, however, Starling's attorney made a surprising admission while he was in court Monday morning.

"I can tell the court that I appeared with Mr. Starling in District Court -- I believe it was in December...and homicide detectives approached my client and required that he submit to a saliva swab and they took his cell phone," he said. "I was advised that he was being investigated for a murder case."

Starling's attorney said he believes there is nothing in the current arrest report to indicate that Starling is responsible for any murder.

Louisville Metro Police will not comment on the case at this time.

Copyright 2014 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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