Patrick Co., VA- The Patrick County Sheriff's Office held a press conference Wednesday announcing the Amber Alert is off and three-year-old Tommy Lee Able Engle from Critz had been found safe. His father, Tommy Lee Travis Engle, is now in custody facing felony charges.
Folks at the Patrick County Sheriff's Office are taking a big sigh of relief. Sheriff Dan Smith said Tommy Lee Able Engle was found safe in Kentucky with his father. Smith says they received a call from the suspect Tuesday night and it took 12 hours to negotiate a surrender. He says in that time, they exchanged dozens of texts and calls. They also talked to the child and they received pictures that showed he was unharmed.
Smith says they do not believe the child was in danger, but that the father took him out of desperation after a domestic disturbance. The Sheriff says there was a domestic assault Friday night which led Engle to leave with his son. They said when Engle became suicidal and made threats to law enforcement is when they issued the Amber Alert.
"I do think the father genuinely cares for the child but that's just my gut feeling I get from talking to him, that he was in a desperate situation," said Sheriff Smith.
Engle is now facing two felony assault charges, including strangulation. The Sheriff says they expect to have him in their possession by tomorrow.?