Sheriff Darren Campbell stated Deputies responded to the area of West Iredell Circle in western Iredell County on Wednesday morning February 15th in reference to a possible kidnapping. A citizen called 911 after they saw 4 to 5 people in a blue mini-van and a brown SUV taking the male juvenile by force at the house next door. The caller told Deputies that they witnessed the unknown people put some type of restraints on the juvenile and forced him into the van, then drove away toward Old Mountain Rd. The caller could hear the victim yelling at the people to let go of him.
Deputies and Detectives arrived at the residence and soon were able to make contact family members of the juvenile who lives in the home. Deputies learned that the juvenile should be at home and no one should be taking him anywhere. After further investigation, Deputies learned that the victim’s father, Rickey David Thomas Jr. from Massachusetts, had gone to West Iredell High School earlier in the day with 4 other people trying to locate the juvenile. Rickey Thomas and the other suspects were traveling in a blue mini-van and a brown SUV with out of state tags.
Detectives were able to obtain the tag number from security footage and found it to be a license plate issued from Maine. A broadcast was sent out to Law Enforcement across the country. A short time later the vehicle and four suspects were located by Virginia State Police. Thankfully the juvenile was also located and is currently in the custody of Virginia Department of Social Services.
Interviews were conducted with the suspects and it was determined that the juvenile’s father, Rickey David Thomas, had hired a transport company to forcefully take his son away from family members in Iredell and take him back to Massachusetts. Deputies learned that the hired transport personnel along with the child’s father forced their way into the juvenile’s home on West Iredell Circle in order to take him. Once the child was restrained it appears the father left for the airport leaving his child with the others to drive back to Massachusetts.
At the time of the stop in Virginia authorities located plastic zip ties inside the mini-van that are believed to have been used restrain the juvenile. Virginia authorities will hold the suspects on Iredell County Charges pending extradition. There are no indications the juvenile has any serious injuries and the Virginia Department of Social Services will make the determination in regard to custody of the child.
Detectives with the Iredell County Sheriffs have drawn warrants for Felony Restraint and Felony Breaking and entering for the suspects, Lorraine Colpitts, Michael Warman, Tony Winslow, and Mickey Mitton. The father of the child Rickey Thomas who has not yet been located has warrants for Conspiracy to commit Felony Restraint and Felony Breaking and Entering. The District Attorney’s office has agreed to seek extradition of the suspects back to NC to face charges.