UPDATE 7:52 p.m. — Virginia State Police announced this evening that Allie Broadaway, the subject of an Amber Alert, has been safely located. Kaleb Merritt, the man authorities believe abducted Broadaway, is in custody.
According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Broadaway was reported missing from her home on Reed Creek Drive at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12.
Broadaway reportedly met Merritt via Instagram in December 2020. The two of them proceeded to communicate over social media until Merritt traveled to Virginia in early February to meet with Broadaway.
After arriving in Henry County, the sheriff’s office says Merritt set up a camp in a wooded area behind the 12-year-old girl’s home and with her on several occasions before messaging her, coercing her to leave her home, and picking her up.
Authorities announced on Saturday, Feb. 13 they received information that led them to believe Merritt was in Henderson, North Carolina. After Henry County investigators and FBI agents coordinated with North Carolina law enforcement, members of the Henderson Police Department tracked down Merritt and took him into custody.
The sheriff’s office says Broadaway was found safely and checked for minor injuries by first responders.
If you have any information about this incident — which remains under investigation by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and the FBI — you are asked to call the sheriff’s office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).
Stay with WFXR News for updates on this developing story.
HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Authorities in Henry County have released additional information on the abduction of a 12-year-old girl in Henry County.
According to authorities, on the evening on Thursday, Feb. 11, a social media company reached out to the Southwestern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force regarding online communication between a 12-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man.
A family member reported 12-year-old Allie Michelle Broadaway missing and police say they believe that the girl left with 21-year-old Kaleb Merritt willingly.
Merritt is said to have been living out of his vehicle, a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis with Texas tags DMP-2294.
Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry believes the two left in that vehicle
Perry also said that a credible sighting of Broadaway and Merritt was noted in Danville near the time she was reported missing.
Authorities believe there is a chance that the two may be heading to Texas where Merritt is said to have family; however, Perry did say that is not certain.
Sheriff Lane says that Broadaway and Merritt have been communicating since December.
If you have any information about Broadaway and Merritt’s whereabouts, you are asked to call 911 or the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 656-4200.