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Giles Co. church and community react to Sunday’s child abduction

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Since Noah Trout has been found and two suspects were arrested, church members are describing the feeling as a weight being lifted off of their shoulders.

But there are still many unanswered questions about the incident.

A member of Riverview Baptist Church for 25 years, Frank Longrie describes how he felt the moment he learned Trout was found.

“A weight was lifted, and it was just a happy time, kind of like when I accepted the Lord, just, everything just lifted off and it was just peace,” said Longrie.

Trout was abducted from a nursery at Riverview Baptist Church Sunday, but according to a pastor at a different church, this was not the first place the suspect stopped.

“She had the mask on and was difficult to understand that she told me that her brother had gotten sick in church and had to leave because he was very ill, and -- and that she had left his little boy here and she needed to pick him up,” said Co-pastor Sandra Hagy at Mountain View Ministries.

Hagy says she ran into the suspect, who told her she was looking for her sick brother’s little boy.

“And she just, she just seemed very nervous to me, and I sent her to the church behind us. We have another church located behind our church and I said maybe you’re confused about what church your brother is at,” said Hagy.

Hagy said she didn’t know of any church member who was sick, so she sent her to another church she may have confused them with.

The pastor said she seemed nervous, agitated and in a hurry.

“Then when I saw her picture online, I knew it was the very exact person that had been at our church that morning, who was, it was reported to me that she was snooping around looking at all the Sunday school rooms, evidently looking for a child,” said Hagy.

Hagy says since the pandemic began, fewer people have been at church, so security has been lax—but this incident was a wake-up for everyone.

Longrie said he did not know Trout’s family personally but did address the rumors going around social media about his church. He said Riverview is a large church, friendly and loving – and anyone is welcome visit and see.

“We come together when somebody’s in need - always,” Longrie said.

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