LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The man accused of abducting Isabel Hicks made his first court appearance on Friday.
Bruce Lynch Jr. was Skyped in from the Central Virginia Regional Jail for his arraignment hearing on Friday. He is facing one abduction charge after Lynch and 14-year-old Hicks went missing last Monday.
An AMBER Alert was issued for the teen on Friday, and the two weren’t seen until the following Monday when the pair approached a Montpelier neighbor’s home.
The neighbor recognized them and they went running into the woods. This sparked a thorough search of the area that involved multiple agencies.
The two were eventually spotted on Wednesday when a driver noticed the pair’s Toyota Matrix driving north on Route 1 in the Ladysmith area of Caroline County. The person followed the car until deputies were able to take over, eventually stopping the two in Caroline County.
Louisa County deputies say the community helped with the search immensely; about 400 tips were reported from people across the region.
Officials said Hicks is OK. In a press conference on Thursday, officials read a statement from her family which said she is tired and overwhelmed by everything.
Lynch’s family was in the courtroom on Friday. They did not wish to comment but appeared visibly upset when they left.
Lynch currently faces the one charge, but an extensive criminal investigation may change that.
“Right now, the defendant is charged with the crime of abduction, I will tell you this case remains under investigation and there may be more charges before it is ultimately resolved,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire said.
Lynch is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 22 for a bond status hearing, that’s also when a date for a preliminary hearing will be set. No bond was set Friday morning, as he is considered a flight risk.