WATCH: Abduction investigation expands, no child reported missing
SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Despite the fact no missing children have been reported in the area, Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Captain Jeffery Pearce said investigators will expand their investigation into a reported child abduction.
Late this afternoon CBS 6 learned that Virginia State canceled a modified alert for the child. From the start, the agency never had an identification on the child, which is needed for a full Amber Alert.
The modified search was issued but expired after a 24-hour time period. Even though Virginia State Police canceled that, they are still assisting the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office in this active case.
“We all realize this is somewhat of an anomaly. Where we thus far don’t have a child identified. We don’t have any reports from any parents that a child is missing,” Pearce said during a Friday morning press briefing.
“But from the information that was garnered yesterday afternoon from the 911 call, from the witness interviews we’ve conducted, from the information we’ve garnered from the neighborhood, we feel at this point that we’re going to err on the side of caution until we’re able to put this to rest whether the child is truly abducted or if it was a parental custody issue or if it was someone simply rounding up a child that was misbehaving.”
Pearce said on Thursday afternoon, a neighbor reported seeing a child taken off the street in the Holleybrooke subdivision in Spotsylvania. That child, the witness said, was put in a blue work van. Pearce said they have no reason to doubt the neighbor’s story or credibility.
“This may be somebody’s child, who does not realize their child is missing yet,” Pearce said. “That fact we have not gotten a call, doesn’t necessarily mean a crime has not been committed.”
Pearce said other neighbors have reported seeing the child and the van in the neighborhood at various times this week.
Pearce said their focus now it to make sure everyone is aware of the description of the van with the hopes someone who recognizes it calls in with some answers.
“This full-sized, medium blue van had two swing out doors on the back that opened outward,” Pearce said. “The left hand door has a dark tinted window. The right hand door that swings out from the rear is a solid door with no window. About two-thirds of the way down the door there is a light-colored Bondo spot similar to where a repair may have occurred on that vehicle recently.”
Tips continue to come into the 24-hours emergency operations center set up to handle calls pertaining to this investigation. Pearce said approximately 60 state, federal and county law enforcement professionals, as well as the FBI are working this case.
“That vehicle [the work van] was seen in the neighborhood on several occasions recently and if anyone knows who owns that vehicle, we need to know who owns that vehicle,” Pearce said.”
Neighbor Pastor Travis Pauley said Friday morning when he and his family rode their bikes around the subdivision there was a lot of talk about the bizarre case. “It really hurt my heart. I just pray that he be found.”
Pauley told CBS 6 News that as he and his family ate breakfast on their porch Friday morning they noticed a police helicopter hovering above. “It’s eerie and unnerving. It feels like it can’t happen to you then all of a sudden, it’s in your neighborhood and you think it’s a weird dream” Pauley said.
If you see this vehicle you are urged to call the Virginia State Police at 1-800-VACHILD (1-800-822-4453) or the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office at 540-582-7716