UPDATE 8:00 p.m.: Bruce Lynch, the man charged with kidnapping Isabel Hicks will stay behind bars.
Lynch was denied bail at his first court appearance Friday morning. He is expected to face multiple charges in the disappearance of the Lousia County teen.
Officials say Lynch is the ex-boyfriend of the teen’s mother.
Officials also say that it appears the girl was not hurt.
ORIGINAL STORY — The search for missing Louisa County teen Isabel Hicks concluded Wednesday night after the 14-year-old was safely located by authorities during a traffic stop in Caroline County.
Hicks is believed to have been abducted by her mother’s ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old Bruce Lynch, who was taken into custody Wednesday night without incident. The search for the teen, which included a nationwide AMBER Alert, spanned multiple states over nine days and drew hundreds of local and federal authorities to Central Virginia.
8News spoke with a woman who said she alerted police after spotting the vehicle Lynch and Hicks were traveling in — a 2003 Toyota Matrix — traveling along Route 1 in the Ladysmith area of Caroline County. The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said after a ‘pursuit,’ Hicks was unharmed and Lynch was taken into custody during the ensuing traffic stop.
“We were just doing what anyone would have done,” said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous. “I just did what I would want someone to do if it was my child. That’s all.”
Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa added, “We are so grateful for the concerned citizen who made the call and followed the vehicle until deputies were able to overtake the vehicle and I am so proud of the men and women of our CCSO who made the stop, apprehended the perpetrator, and reunite the missing juvenile with her mother.”
Neil Mathison, an assistant special agent with the FBI, said: “It was an observant set of eyes from the community that made that one call we needed to bring Isabel home safely to her family.”
“When we asked the public to be our extra set of eyes and be on the lookout for Isabel, Bruce, and the vehicle, that’s exactly what happened.”
8News’ cameras were rolling as authorities arrived at the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office with Lynch in custody. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
Residents in Louisa County were relieved to learn the 14-year-old had been found unharmed.
“They always find kids dead most times when Amber Alerts are happening; they can’t really find the kids,” resident Allen Dalton-Talley said. “So it’s good one actually made it home safe.”
Another woman who lives in Waynesboro believes all the attention the case received on social media helped bring Hicks home.
“With Facebook and all the social media and news reports, I think people paid attention and I think that really helped, I think,” Ginny Fisher said.
Hicks disappeared from her home in Louisa County in the early-morning hours of Monday, October 21. A nationwide AMBER Alert was issued four days later.
On Monday, Hicks and Lynch were spotted in Hanover County after approaching a home in the Montpelier area of the county. That drew more than 200 local and federal authorities to the area as the search efforts doubled.
“We received right around 400 tips and we LOOKED at every one of them and took every one seriously,” said Major Donnie Lowe, of Louisa County sheriff’s Office.
Hicks and Lynch were gone by the time investigators responded to the home and remained on the run for two more days before they were taken into custody following a traffic stop in Caroline County.
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