73-year-old man tried to buy 3-year-old Kentucky boy, police say

73-year-old man tried to buy 3-year-old Kentucky boy, police say
Ronnie Lou Helton is in the Whitley County Jail, charged with kidnapping and promoting human trafficking. (Source: Whitley County Detention Center)

CORBIN, Ky. (WKYT) - A 73-year-old man is accused of trying to take a small child from a Corbin home.

Little 3-year-old Frank was playing in his front yard Wednesday when his grandmother said the unthinkable almost happened. A man pulled up across the street, then walked over to their home. While Frank was on a trailer, the grandmother said the man tried to reach around the short fence to grab him.

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She was just a few feet away on her front porch when she and her boyfriend got him to stop. But then she said he offered to buy her grandson for $1,000.

“He said, ‘I’ll give you a thousand dollars for this little boy,’” Frank’s grandmother Kristy Baker said.

Baker and her boyfriend got 73-year-old Ronnie Lou Helton to leave and he was arrested a short time later.

She got enough information from his car and police were able to track down and arrest Helton.

“I really do not want to imagine what he could have done if he got him,” Baker said.

This is not Helton’s first run-in with the law. In 2019, he was arrested in Clay County for solicitation for prostitution.

“My best advice to anyone out there is hold your kids close and keep an eye on them,” Baker said. “It only takes a split second to lose them.”

Baker said her grandson wasn’t hurt, but is shaken up by the ordeal. She said he keeps saying “the mean man tried to get him.”

Helton is in the Whitley County Jail, charged with kidnapping and promoting human trafficking.

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