0

Authorities locate missing four-year-old boy

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Police have arrested a man accused of kidnapping his son and the boy's mother.

According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation, four-year-old Colin Nathaniel Custer, along with his mother, were kidnapped in Florida, Monday morning at approximately 6:30 a.m. The mother, Rashell Rene Pennell, 36, was able to escape and alerted police to the alleged crime.

The GBI issued a Levi's Call Monday afternoon for Colin Nathaniel Custer, who was reportedly last seen in Henry County.

GBI Spokesman John Bankhead said the child and his mother were taken by the boy's father, 45-year-old Robert William Custer, II. Bankhead said the mother managed to escape from her abductor in South Carolina.

According to the Associated Press, authorities in Lexington County, S.C., later found Pennell locked in a gas station bathroom. Pennell reportedly told police Robert Custer abducted her and her son Sunday, after a court-ordered visitation.

In addition, the mother said the suspect placed a cloth over her nose when he abducted her, causing her to lose consciousness. Amber Alerts were then issued for Colin Custer, in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Unconfirmed reports, said Bankhead, indicate the suspect may have driven through Stockbridge. "A trucker spotted the vehicle on Interstate 75 at Exit 224," said the GBI spokesman.

Robert Custer was reportedly driving an off-white, 1988 Chevrolet conversion van, with Florida tag: Q577ZE. Later, authorities recovered the van near the South Carolina and North Carolina line.

Maj. Larry Shea, of the Lexington Sheriff's office, said U. S. Marshals, along with the Virgina State Police, apprehended Custer at a Bales Road residence in Blacksburg Va. "He was armed, but made no effort to resist arrest."

Lexington Sheriff officers are scheduled to meet the Virginia State police at a "half-way point" on Monday to pick up Colin Custer and return the four-year-old to his mother.

--The Associated Press contributed to this article.