HCSO Offers Update Regarding February 1, 2021 Reported Kidnapping
Hamilton County, TN – Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Austin Garrett is offering the following update to the community regarding the February 1, 2021, reported kidnapping that occurred at Windrose Circle.
The most important issue in this investigation was the child’s safety. As the child was located safely, our investigative efforts shifted to identifying a suspect based on the information reported. The HCSO takes all reported incidents involving the abduction of a child seriously until the facts of the case can be proven otherwise.
A lengthy and thorough investigation was conducted that included a canvass of the community and surrounding businesses, a review of digital evidence and video, and numerous interviews. This investigation found no evidence to support the Feb. 1, 2021, kidnapping allegation. As such, the incident has been determined to be unfounded.
The Sheriff’s Office has communicated these findings to the child’s family and the District Attorney’s Office.
Specific questions have been asked on social media as to why the Sheriff’s Office did not issue an Amber Alert. When deputies took the initial report, the reported victim, who is ten years old, was at home and unharmed. Because of this, the incident did not warrant an Amber Alert or an Endangered Child Alert as determined by the TBI. The TBI’s requirements can be located by visiting: https://www.tn.gov/tbi/tennessees-missing-children/tennessee-missing-children-alerts-criteria.html.
An NCIC Regional BOLO was sent out to surrounding law enforcement agencies as information of a possible suspect vehicle was obtained.
The HCSO would like to use this opportunity to encourage parents to speak with their children and develop a plan of escape in the event of an abduction or an attempted abduction. For example:
• Children should know how to call 911 and have their address committed to memory
• Teach your child to understand situational awareness and recognize landmarks and places such as churches, businesses, and schools
• Talk to your child about ways to escape from a vehicle’s trunk by showing them the emergency release
• Teach your child how to scream for help and escape would-be attackers
For more information, please visit: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/abductions.html