CARROLLTON, Va. (WAVY) - Isle of Wight County officials released detailed information Thursday evening about a young girl's abduction and sexual assault. The child was able to provide new information about what happened Wednesday.
The 11-year-old girl from Carrollton told investigators she was abducted and sexually assaulted Wednesday morning while waiting at a school bus stop, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff.
Around 8 a.m., the girl was abducted on Route 17 between Brewer's Neck Boulevard and the Crittenden Bridge, according to Kristin Wilda with the IOW Sheriff’s Office. The suspect forced the girl into his vehicle and then drove her to two different locations where he sexually assaulted her. After about four hours, the suspect drove the child back to the general area where she had been abducted and let her go.
Thursday evening, Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall held a news conference, adding detailed information obtained from the child.
Sheriff Marshall said investigators do not know exactly where the girl was taken; the child was not able to see where she was at least for a period of time during the abduction. However, narrowed down a few details of the suspected route of travel. Investigators believe the route may have been on Route 17 into Suffolk and the two stops, where the assaults took place, happened in the Holland area of Suffolk.
Investigators have identified one of the two stops; Marshall said the second stop was in the area off Iron Mines Spring Road in Isle of Wight County, very close to where the county fair is held.
At some point, the suspect spoke with a City of Suffolk trash collector near the intersection of Longstreet Lane and Quaker Drive, asking him how to get back to Suffolk. Marshall said it was a brief encounter, but the trash collector was able to describe the suspect and suspect vehicle.
Marshall said the assaults took place outside of the vehicle in remote locations. The assaults were forced and “much more than fondling,” according to the Sheriff. The victim was restrained during the offense.
The Sheriff said the suspect started expressing remorse to the victim halfway through the abduction.
“I will say that he did express remorse … a great deal of remorse. He told the victim he would bring her back home and he did. That’s not usual, that’s not customary,” Marshall said. "... We need to get him some help and we need to stop this so there are no other future attacks."
The man was described as having the following attributes:
- Being an older white man with blue eyes, short blond hair (not a buzz cut) and bushy blond eyebrows
- A thin blond beard with white whiskers, strip from temples down across chin, no mustache
- Slightly yellowed teeth, full lips, a wide nose
- Freckles covering his face, arms and body
- Small hands with short fingers
- Wearing cut-off jean shorts, a tan t-shirt and blue and brown tennis shoes
- Wearing small brown glasses low on his nose like bifocals
- Having a slow cadence of speech
- Being about 5' 8" tall and 175 pounds in weight
The suspect vehicle was described as having the following attributes:
- A white, older model Chevrolet coupe (two-door)
- A Virginia State inspection sticker and Chevy stickers on the front of the vehicle
- Manual roll-down windows
- Black and grey interior with leather or vinyl seats
- New-looking exterior
- Cracked dashboard with pieces missing
The victim told investigators there were three, homemade clay sculptures in the center console of the vehicle that looked as if they were made by a child. One was star-shaped and painted with black stripes. The other two were green and pink. She also described the inside of the vehicle as cluttered; there were balled-up papers in the back.
"This is an ongoing investigation because it involves such a very young victim, a horrific crime, and it appears at this point this may be a stranger abduction," Marshall said on Wednesday.
Wilda said the girl called her parents Wednesday around noon, who then called emergency services. She was taken to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters for treatment.
On Thursday, Sheriff Marshall said the girl was with her parents and doing well.
“She’s doing remarkably well, but obviously traumatized. She and her family are traumatized,” said Sheriff Marshall. “She has become an integral part of the investigation.”
Kim Nunez has a student in the same school system as the victim and got an alert from school administrators on her phone around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.
"This happened earlier in the day, real early, so I think we should have been, parents should have been warned," Nunez said.
According to Kenita Bowers with Isle of Wight County Schools, the school bus typically arrives at the particular bus stop where the abduction happened between 8:15 a.m. and 8:18 a.m. Bowers said there are two other children who are picked up at that same stop, but they had not arrived yet when the incident occurred.
Sheriff Marshall said the Sheriff's Department is being assisted by Virginia State Police and the FBI in the investigation and that law enforcement has been in continued contact with local schools.
“We have, along with other law enforcement agencies, continued beefed up patrols around bus stops and schools,” Sheriff Marshall said.
A message from the school system to parents said bus drivers would be on high alert for any unusual incidents. The message also stated the girl goes to Westside Elementary in Smithfield.
The Sheriff said whatever this man’s daily routine is – whether he works or babysits, etc. – he left for four hours and someone should have noticed his absence. The Sheriff said investigators believe it was a planned event.
“We need the public’s help. With the level of detail we have, somebody knows this man, probably several people … we need to stop him,” Marshall said. “… It’s absolutely critical that the people who know this person come forward and talk to us.”
The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with any information that may help investigators to call a dedicated telephone line for tips on the abduction suspect: 757-365-6290.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates as they become available.
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