Law Enforcement Thanks Public Following Safe Return of Missing Louisa Co. Teen
LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Investigators are offering new details involving the successful search and return of a Louisa County teenager.
“Isabel Hicks is now at home safe with her family,” said Maj. Donnie Lowe with the Louisa County Sheriff's Office during a brief press conference Thursday, October 31.
Authorities say they located the 14-year-old with 33-year-old Bruce William Lynch Jr. in Caroline County around 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 30. They had received around 400 tips over the last few days.
"It’s not often enough that law enforcement gets to stand at a press conference and announce the successful recovering of a young person who has been missing for an extended period of time,” said Neil Mathison , FBI.
Multiple law enforcement agencies had been searching for Hicks since she was last seen at her home in Bumpass around 1 a.m. Monday, October 21. The sheriff's office believed early on that the teen was with Lynch, her mother’s ex-boyfriend, and that he was driving a Toyota Matrix.
The FBI and Virginia State Police also joined the search for Hicks and Lynch.
The search was expanded into neighboring Hanover County after the pair was spotted along Clazemont Road on October 28. Lowe said nearly 400 tips from the community helped investigators during the search.
"It was an observant set of eyes from the community that made that one call that we needed to bring Isabel home safely to her family," said Neil Mathison of the Richmond FBI.
Two days later, a person notified law enforcement after seeing Lynch's Matrix in Caroline County.
"We had a caller call in last night that gave us very very good information which resulted in the location and identifying Isabel and Bruce," said Lowe. "It was very impressive to see everybody work together the way they did. There was no drama, everybody was focused and they worked some very very long hours."
“When we asked the public to be our extra set of eyes and be on the lookout for Isabel and Bruce and the vehicle, that’s exactly what happened," Mathison said.
Lynch was soon taken into custody after a pursuit. Authorities said Hicks appeared unharmed.
A message from the family was read aloud during Thursday’s press conference, which stated, "We just want to say thank you to any and all law enforcement, anyone that prayed, made dinner, donated money, or even drove around looking for Isabel. She’s at home, she’s tired and overwhelmed by everything. We truly appreciate everything that has been done to reunite our family in the hardest time of our lives."
Lynch is being held at Central Virginia Regional Jail. He is currently charged with abduction, but could face additional charges.
Lynch is scheduled for an arraignment hearing in Louisa Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Friday, November 1.
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