HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Residents in Hanover County are on edge after news that the search for a missing Louisa County 14-year-old girl and her suspected abductor hit close to home.
While some were worried about their safety, most were concerned for the safety of Isabel Hicks and just how much land authorities have to search.
Cameron Barner, a Hanover resident, said news of the disappearance spread locally.
“We were at work and everyone’s phone went off and we got the Amber Alert,” Barner said.
The story gained attention nationally, with news of the FBI joining in on the search for Isabel Hicks, and 33-year-old Bruce Lynch, who were spotted in Hanover County, Monday night.
Authorities say the pair was reportedly spotted in the Montpelier area of the county, in the vicinity of the 14000 block of Clazemont Road, shortly after 9 p.m. They reportedly approached a home in the area, and the person inside alerted police.
Police searched throughout the night into early Tuesday morning.
By daylight, an active aerial search was underway as authorities focused on the rural area and the large amount of open land.
“There’s a lot of open land here, it’s virtually impossible to cover all of it, so if these folks are on the run they can stay under the radar for a pretty good while,” said Dave Southworth, a Montpelier resident.
Lynch is believed to be armed with a gun. Residents told 8News they are more fearful for Hick’s life, however.
“I’ve been around guns my whole life, I just hope he doesn’t use it inappropriately,” Southworth said.
Police add that if you spot the duo, do not approach them and law enforcement immediately.