BURLEIGH, N.D. (WAVY) – “A little bit of luck.”
That’s what Deputy Sheriff Kenny Custodio of Burleigh, North Dakota, credits for the discovery of two missing children from Hampton — hundreds of miles from home.
“We got advised that there was an Amber Alert out of Virginia. It just happened to be one of those things that [a sheriff’s deputy] was in the right place at the exact right time. He saw a vehicle that matched the description. It passed him, he got behind it, and pulled it over,” Custodio said.
“In my short time in law enforcement, there’s definitely been some incredible things, but this one is up there,” Custodio said.
Three people are facing charges in connection with the alleged abduction: Michael Hamilton, Timothy Truitt and Amelia Hamilton. They told investigators they were trying to take the kids to Washington State when they were caught in North Dakota, according to court documents.
While the children were found safe, the conditions they were dealing with, in what appeared to be a cross-country abduction, are disturbing.
“They were kind of disheveled in terms of the appearance of cleanliness. They appeared to not be looked after properly,” Custodio said.
Court documents reveal Michael Hamilton told deputies his girlfriend bought him a plane ticket to fly from Washington to Virginia to bring his daughter, Amelia, and the two kids back to their home on the West Coast.
He told deputies he got to Virginia on October 15 and rented a car. Documents also reveal he stayed in a hotel with Amelia and Truitt on October 16.
Michael told deputies he created a plan with Truitt and Amelia to deceive the children’s guardian.
“I’m not exactly sure what the thought process was there,” said Custodio.
Custodio tells us he believes the children will eventually be returned to Virginia. All three adults charged in the alleged abduction will stay in North Dakota to face charges there.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.