LOUISA Co., Va. (WWBT) - A Louisa County man has been found guilty of all charges in connection to the disappearance and exploitation of a 14-year-old that sparked nationwide attention.
Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire said that Bruce W. Lynch, Jr., 34, of Bumpass, was scheduled to have an arraignment on eight charges related to the sexual exploitation of a minor when he pleaded guilty without any agreement with the Commonwealth.
An AMBER Alert was issued in the fall of 2019 when the girl’s mother called the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 21 saying that her child was missing and that she might be with Lynch.
“With few leads and grave concern for the child’s safety, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office rapidly established a Task Force to locate Lynch and the child. The Task Force partnered with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and began a nationwide manhunt,” a release from the Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Office said.
Nine days after the AMBER Alert was issued, a citizen spotted the two in Caroline County and followed the car until deputies were able to arrive to arrest Lynch and take the child back to her parents.
“I can’t imagine the feeling of a parent waking up and realizing that their child is missing. We are thankful for the many law enforcement agencies involved in this case and the quick action of the citizen who spotted Lynch and the child. Their actions ensured that the child was returned home safely and that the Defendant was held accountable,” McGuire said.
Law enforcement searched around the clock Oct. 21-30 for the missing teen.
“The tireless hours of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Virginia State Police, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office ensured this child was returned home safely and we are extremely lucky to have these heroes on the front lines keeping our communities safe,” Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Bob Wood said.
Lynch is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21 and faces up to 80 years in prison.
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