WV child abductors arrested in Mullins, child rescued safely
From the U.S. Marshals
FLORENCE, SC – On Friday, February 11th, 2011 U.S. Marshals led Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force, Marion County Sheriff's Office, and Mullins Police Department officers arrested Barbara Edwards AKA: Barbara Longwell and Leonard Hamrick at 6211 Spring Tide Court Mullins, SC. Edwards and Hamrick are wanted on Fugitive Warrants from the Nicholas County Sheriff's Office in Summersville, WV for Child Concealment Charges stemming from a missing child case on December 21st, 2009. Edwards is the child's grandmother and was court ordered not to have contact with the child. Edwards and Hamrick fled West Virginia in December 2009 and have not been seen in the area since.
Information obtained by the Nicholas County Sheriff's Office led them to the U.S. Marshals in Southern West Virginia to request assistance in locating and apprehending Edwards and Hamrick. Deputy U.S. Marshals in WV developed information leading the investigation to South Carolina. Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force Officers and Deputy U.S. Marshals combined with Marion County Sheriff's Deputies and Mullins Police Officers located Edwards and Hamrick at the Spring Tide Court address and arrested both without incident. The child was also discovered in the residence and has been placed in Department of Social Services custody until return to West Virginia. Edwards and Hamrick are housed at the Marion County Detention Center awaiting hearings for their return to West Virginia.
Kelvin Washington U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina stated: "Children are our most precious asset. I applaud the due diligence of all our law enforcement partners and Deputy U.S. Marshals involved in the happy return of this child. These arrests will bring closure to a scary and long wait for the family of this child. This should be a sign to those wanting to hide in our communities; we will work tirelessly to bring each of you to justice."
Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2009, the Marshals arrested more than 36,400 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants. Marshal's Service-led task forces like South Carolina's Operation Intercept arrested 90,800 state and local fugitives, clearing 117,000 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period.
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