A Massachusetts dad is accused of kidnapping his son in Iredell County on Wednesday morning with the help of four members of a transport company he hired to forcibly take his son back.
The kidnappers made it to Virginia before state police there stopped and arrested them, Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said. The kidnapped youth was found unharmed.
The youth’s father, Rickey David Thomas Jr., 36, has not been found, Campbell said. Once the youth was restrained at his home in western Iredell County, the father apparently left for an airport, leaving his son with the others to drive back to Massachusetts, according to the sheriff.
Thomas and the other kidnapping suspects first went to West Iredell High looking for the youth, then drove in two vehicles to the boy’s home in the 100 block of West Iredell Circle, the sheriff said.
A neighbor called 911 after seeing four or five people in a blue minivan and a brown SUV placing some type of restraints on the boy and forcing him into the van. The caller reported hearing the victim yelling at the people to let go of him, Campbell said.
Sheriff’s investigators contacted other members of the boy’s family and learned he lives in the home and that no one should be taking him anywhere.
Sheriff’s detectives obtained a tag number of one of the vehicles from security footage and broadcast it to law enforcement nationwide. Virginia State Police soon found the van and took four kidnapping suspects into custody. Police also found plastic zip ties in the minivan that are believed to have been used restrain the boy.
The boy was placed in the custody of the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Iredell sheriff’s investigators obtained warrants for felony restraint and felony breaking and entering against Maine residents Lorraine Colpitts, 59; Michael Warman, 38; and Mickey Mitton, 32; and Tony Winslow, 49, of Texas. Thomas faces charges of conspiracy to commit felony restraint and felony breaking and entering.
All of the suspects will be extradited back to Iredell County, Campbell said.