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AMBER Alert: Father of abducted child texts police; manhunt continues

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UPDATE: AMBER Alert cancelled for three-year-old Tommy Lee Able Engle

PATRICK COUNTY, Va. -- Hours after an AMBER Alert was issued for three-year-old Tommy Lee Able Engle and a manhunt launched for his father, 34-year-old Tommy Lee Travis Engle, police said the father reached out to investigators via text.

Detectives said the father texted pictures of his son to officers at about 2 a.m. Wednesday. Using GPS, police tracked the father and son to Interstate 77. Investigators said they believed the elder Engle was taking his son to Canada. No one has seen the father and son since Monday.

Virginia State Police and Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse issued the AMBER Alert on behalf of the Patrick County Sheriff's Office Tuesday evening.

Tommy Lee Able Engle, 3, was last seen last seen August 4 at his home in Critz, Va. Tommy Engle is three-feet tall and weighs 35 pounds. He has blue eyes and short blonde hair.

Tommy Engle

Tommy Lee Able Engle, 3, was reported abducted.

The child was likely abducted by his father, police said. The father is 6’3” tall and weight 200 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair.

"[He] may be armed with AK-47 and in possession of ballistics vest," police said. "[He] has made suicidal threats and homicidal threats towards law enforcement."

Tommy Lee Travis Engle

If you see the Engles, police urged you do not approach them. Instead, call police.

The father and son may be traveling in a 2001 navy blue Dodge Neon that has four doors and a license WNZ-9169.

Please contact the Patrick County Sheriff's Office at (276)694-3161 or the Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453 (1-800-VACHILD).

You may find complete information at


    • kitty

      OK….why do he need a assault rifle to visit his son…we see too many incidents where kids or spouses are murdered behind custody issues or domestic issues ….I hope they find this baby safe and sound ….Tiny Tim…. you sounds so freaking stupid with all your comments….. you need to get a life and stop using the news website to talk to people I see why you have no friends

  • Barbara

    No Timmy that is not how it works for all men, just because it sounds as if you been burnt does not mean that this is how every absentee father is…YOU need a reality check.

    • Morning Dew

      Poor, Poor Timmy. Poor abused and neglected Timmy. Poor angry and resentful Timmy. It will be OK Timmy. There is help for you, but only if you want to let go of the anger and resentment you feel. Life can be better, you don’t need to feel this way.

  • April

    Lol.. im quite sure there are circumstances in this case that changed it from merely wanting to have time with your child and kidnapping….

    And…. Im pretty sure there are pending charges against the father for abusing the mother…. In my opinion he isn’t fit to be alone with that child.. regardless if it is his or not. A FATHER wouldn’t put his some or the mother of his son through this.

    • Timmy McFadden

      Or course, of course, you had to bring up alleged abuse against the mother because how else could it be? Afterall, she wants that coveted “victim” status too, all women want that. All men are abusers or idiots. Don’t believe me? Pick any television show at random and see how we are portrayed.

  • Morning Dew

    See Timmy has done an excellent job taking the attention away from the Amber Alert and focusing it on him. The man needs loads of attention.

    I hope they find the boy unharmed and get the Dad the help he needs.

  • Sam

    Why doesn’t wtvr censor these sick and inappropriate comments? Their website has become a sounding board for all sorts of degenerates. They have the right and responsibility to censor.

  • Kristin hunt

    Actually he did abuse the mother. He beat the little boys mother and took the kid and left. He told some people he was going to kill himself and the kid. So please, shut up unless you know the facts. I know this family personally.

  • Think Before you Speak

    Actually, the father is a PTSD vet who has been battling his demons since he returned from service. The mom left him after he killed their dog in front of the little boy and beat the hell out of her. This week he beat the mother badly enough that she is going to require facial reconstruction and then took the child, after making threats that he will kill anyone in his path. It isn’t that he “wants to be with his kid and gets accused of kidnapping” they have been in hiding because of his violence.

  • Angel

    Too much going on with this one. The man is a retired Marine. His friend was just killed and others wounded. He threatened law enforcement and himself, not the kid. He recently sent the law pics of his unharmed son.
    This stinks of cover-up and elimination.

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