Missing Virginia child found in Kentucky, father faces felony charges

Patrick County (WSLS) A sigh of relief in Patrick County after a 3-year-old boy is found safe.

Tommy Lee Able Engle was found safe in Kentucky on Wednesday. On Tuesday, an amber alert was issued for the child who was last seen with his father, Tommy Lee Travis Engle.

Police said the 34 year old was arrested after nearly 12 hours of text messages and phone calls with authorities

“He let me listen to the child and talk with the child and he would text me pictures of the child back,” said Dan Smith, Patrick County Sheriff.

Sheriff Smith said Engel may have acted out of desperation. Police have been called to the home in Critz several times for domestic disturbances.

“I do think the father genuinely cares for the child,” said Smith. “That’s just my gut feeling talking with him.”

Engel is currently behind bars in Kentucky. Authorities said both the father and his son will return to Patrick County where the oldest Engel is expected to remain in police custody. Neighbors said they hope to see the 3 year old child home soon.

Engel faces two felony charges related to a domestic dispute. Sheriff Smith said charges related to the abduction are still pending.

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