The missing 3-year-old Patrick County boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert has been found safely in Kentucky.
The boy’s father, 34-year-old Tommy Lee Travis Engle, was taken into custody around 12:50 p.m. Wednesday in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Amber Alert for the boy, Tommy Lee Able Engle, was issued around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, Engle contacted investigators early Wednesday morning. The dialogue continued until he was apprehended. Engle has family in Kentucky.
“During the conversations with Engle, he would tell us that the child was fine, he let us talk to his son and he would send us text message pictures of the child,” Sheriff Dan Smith wrote in a news release. “I felt much better about the situation once we were able to talk about a resolution.”
Engle is being held in the Pike County Jail and awaiting extradition back to Patrick County. He is wanted on two felony assault charges against the child’s mother.
Engle will be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Thursday on a fugitive from another state charge and a failure to pay a fine charge.
Smith will hold a news conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Patrick County Sheriff's Office.
Here is the news release from the Patrick County Sheriff's Office:
Tommy Lee Able Engle, the three year old missing child from Patrick County, has been safely located in Pikeville, Kentucky according to Patrick Sheriff Dan Smith. An Amber Alert was issued at 6:10 PM yesterday for the child after a string of events stemming from a domestic disturbance between the child’s parents. The child’s father, Tommy Lee Travis Engle, 34, was taken into custody without incident at 12:50 PM by law enforcement officers in Pikeville, Kentucky. Smith said that he was contacted by the elder Engle via cell phone shortly after midnight and that dialogue continued throughout the early morning hours until he was apprehended. “During the conversations with Engle, he would tell us that the child was fine, he let us talk to his son and he would send us text message pictures of the child,” the Sheriff said. “I felt much better about the situation once we were able to talk about a resolution.” Smith said that Engle has family in Pikeville, Kentucky and that he is currently being held in the Pike County Jail awaiting extradition back to Patrick County. Engle is currently wanted on two felony assault charges against the child’s mother. Smith said that multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the coordinated effort to find the child.
An Amber Alert has been issued for a missing 3-year-old boy in Patrick County.
The Patrick County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Tommy Lee Able Engle. He is 3-years-old, has blue eyes, and short blonde hair.
The boy is believed to be in “extreme danger.” Investigators say the boy was likely abducted by his dad, 34-year-old Tommy Lee Travis Engle. They may be traveling in a 2001 navy blue Dodge Neon with license plates WNZ-9169.
Engle may be armed with an AK-47 and have a body armor. Tommy Lee Travis Engle has made suicidal and homicidal threats and he should be considered dangerous, according to Virginia State Police.
Tommy Lee Travis Engle and his son were last seen Friday night following a domestic disturbance on Oak HIll Lane in Critz. Steve Austin, the lead investigator in Patrick County, tells WDBJ7 that Engle took the child Friday after allegedly assaulting the boy’s mother. When deputies arrived, the father and son were already gone. Warrants for malicious wounding and strangulation were obtained for Engle.
"Throughout the weekend we tried to determine location of the father and the son. We've worked with authorities in both North Carolina and Kentucky," Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said.
No reason was given as to what exactly happened today that caused police to issue the Amber Alert, but police didn't think the child was in danger on Friday night.
Investigators say Engle has ties to North Carolina and Kentucky.
Here is a news release from the Patrick County Sheriff's Office:
The Patrick County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information in locating a missing child. Sheriff Dan Smith stated that his office and multiple other law enforcement agencies are actively searching for Tommy Lee Able Engle, 3 years of age, blonde hair, blue eyes, approximately three feet tall and weighing 35 pounds. The child was last seen in the company of his father, Tommy Lee Travis Engle, 34 years of age, brown hair, brown eyes, 6’0” tall and 200 pounds. Smith said that the search for these individuals began on Friday night, August 1st when Patrick deputies were called to the Engle home in Critz regarding a domestic disturbance. When deputies arrived, Engle had already taken his son and left the home. The sheriff indicated that his office obtained felony warrants for Engle on that night for malicious wounding and strangulation, offenses allegedly committed against the child’s mother. Engle has ties to both Kentucky and North Carolina and the sheriff’s office has been working in coordination with authorities in both states throughout the weekend. Engle and the child were last seen in a 2001 Dodge Neon, Blue in color, with a last known license plate number of WNZ 9169. Engle could possibly be in possession of an AK 47 type assault rifle and body armor and he is considered armed and dangerous. An Amber Alert has been issued for the child. The sheriff’s office is being assisted by numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Smith urges anyone with information on the whereabouts of these two individuals to contact their local law enforcement agency immediately.
According to Sheriff Dan Smith, when his deputies first responded to the Engle home in Critz on the evening of Friday August 1st, independent sources indicated that Engle was not a threat to his son and there was no indication that he would harm the three year old. “The investigation revealed at that time that the aggression was directed solely toward the mother of the child and not toward the child himself. This was supported by witnesses and statements of those familiar with the situation inside the Engle home,” the sheriff stated. As the investigation progressed throughout the weekend, information was learned through indirect contact with Engle that led authorities to believe that he was suicidal and a threat to law enforcement. Smith said that Federal Amber Alert criteria was then met which led to its issuance.