Thanks to a tip from an alert citizen, a massive search for a missing teenage girl from Bumpass ended peacefully Wednesday night in Caroline County.

Isabel Hicks, 14, was abducted from her home early Oct. 21, police said. Bruce W. Lynch Jr., 33, a former boyfriend of Hicks’ mother, is accused of taking her and is charged in Louisa with felony abduction.

A national search ensued following her disappearance that included the FBI, Virginia State Police and an Amber Alert.

At 8:48 p.m. Wednesday, the Caroline County 911 center received a call from a citizen who had identified the suspect vehicle, Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa said.

The vehicle was heading north on U.S. 1 in the Ladysmith area, Lippa said. Deputy Matt Wilcox caught up with the vehicle on Route 1 in the area of Paige Road and activated his emergency lights.

Lippa said the driver didn’t immediately stop, but he said there was no pursuit as had initially been reported in initial news reports.

Lippa said the driver finally stopped after seeing other deputies showing up, and Lynch was taken into custody without incident.

Isabel appeared to be uninjured, but was taken by Wilcox to a local hospital to be checked out, police said.

Deputy Greg Hess took Lynch into custody while his vehicle was towed to a facility in the western part of Caroline.

It was the second reported sighting of the girl since her disappearance. There were reports of a sighting in the Montpelier area of Hanover County on Monday that drew a heavy law-enforcement response.

Lippa said he was grateful for the tip from the citizen and for the response of his personnel.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Louisa Sheriff’s Office Major Donald Lowe thanked all law enforcement agencies involved for their cooperation.

He also shared a message from Isabel’s family: “She is home, tired, and overwhelmed by everything. We truly appreciate everything [that] has been done to reunite our family in the hardest time of our lives.”

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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