MARSHALL COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - He's the 18-year-old who shouldn't be alive today. Charles Hardeman survived a vicious attack in April. Cops say he was almost killed and robbed by his sister and three others, all over $500.
Three of the teen's four accused attackers are behind bars, but the fourth is on the run. Cops in Hardeman County, Tennessee are searching for Xavier Parks.
Investigators say Parks is a known gang member, very dangerous, and believed to be hiding in Charles Hardeman's hometown.
"I would consider him dangerous, we do have very, very good intelligence," says Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson, adding there's evidence that Xavier Parks' spearheaded the bizarre and brutal attack on Charles in April.
Dickerson says there's no doubt Parks is a bad guy. "He is really active in the Vice Lord gang in Hardeman County, Tennessee."
He's a high ranking member of that gang, and has avoided arrest for several days.
"He does not have employment. He's getting financial help from some source to be able to stay on the run." Dickerson says an army of officers is hunting him.
Parks is one of four charged with assaulting and kidnapping Charles Hardeman.
Dickerson believes they traveled from Tennessee to Mississippi, robbed Charles, tied him up, threw him in a lake to drown and set his house on fire.
He freed himself, only to have a stroke and crash into a tree driving for help. The teen is at home recovering, but his nightmare may not be over.
"I would and do feel ill at ease for Charles' safety due to the nature of the people he's dealing with," the sheriff tells abc24.com.
The accused includes Charles' sister, Ashley, who told us this after it happened:
"Whoever did it to him, it's like a smack in their face because he's still fighting, he's still here. And he's still standing strong," she said.
She's now sitting behind bars. Parks is Ashley's boyfriend.
His brother and fellow gang member Alexander Carter and their friend Gregory Jenkins are the other two arrested for the crime.
As for any risk that still exists from Parks, the missing gang member, "I hope they understand and know they better leave the young man alone. What they've done is more than enough to him," Dickerson says.
The suspects are locked up in separate jails for security reasons. Once Parks is caught he'll likely be held at a neutral site in Mississippi, as well.
This case will go before a grand jury in June. Final charges will be determined at that time.