Police rescue abducted teen girl; 34-year-old man taken into custody

https://abcnews.go.com/US/police-locate-14-year-virginia-girl-believed-abducted/story?id=66652470

A call from a tipster led investigators to find a 14-year-old Virginia girl who had been missing for almost 10 days, according to authorities.

Isabel Shae Hicks had last been seen Oct. 21 at her home in Bumpass, Virginia, about 40 miles north of Richmond, police said. She was found Wednesday night after a caller in Caroline County called the sheriff’s office, which led to a pursuit, authorities told reporters in a press conference Thursday.

She “appeared unharmed,” according to authorities. In a statement read by Louisa County Sheriff Maj. Donald Lowe, her family described her time away as the “hardest time of our lives,” adding, “She is at home. She’s tired and overwhelmed by everything.”

Lowe and FBI Special Agent in Charge Neil Mathison credited the media with getting the word out to find her and the community, who called in with more than 400 tips.

Police had previously said she was believed to be traveling with Bruce Lynch, who was taken into police custody when Hicks was found late Wednesday. The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said a vehicle the two were in was stopped in Caroline County, north of Richmond, “after a pursuit.”

He was spotted by an eyewitness with the teen in Hanover County on Monday and police previously said they feared the eighth-grader could be in extreme danger.

PHOTO: Isabel Hicks in an undated photo. FBI
Isabel Hicks in an undated photo.

Police said Lynch had altered his appearance, including shaving his beard and wearing new clothing, when he was seen with Hicks on Monday.

Authorities previously said that Lynch was known to the teen, but declined to discuss their relationship.

Hicks was located safe and an Amber Alert issued last week has been canceled, Virginia State Police said. Investigators did not provide details about where she was found, but they said they would offer offer more details as soon as possible.

PHOTO: Bruce Lynch, seen in this image altered by the FBI to show him without a beard, was taken into custody in the disappearance of 14-year-old Isabel Hicks on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.FBI Richmond
Bruce Lynch, seen in this image altered by the FBI to show him without a beard, was taken into custody in the disappearance of 14-year-old Isabel Hicks on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

“Miss Hicks has been safely located and Lynch taken into custody,” Virginia State Police said in a statement. “The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office will provide an update shortly … please be patient, as they’re still in the midst of the investigation and arrest.”

On Monday, investigators said there was no evidence to suggest that the teen had been taken forcefully.

ABC News’ Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.