Newberry father, registered sex offender arrested after abducting his two children
NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A Newberry father and registered sex offender has been arrested after abducting his two children.
Newberry County Sheriff’s Office reported that Tommir Toland, 11, and Ommira Toland, 6, were abducted by Tommy Lee Toland at 10 a.m.
Around 3 p.m., officials announced the children had been found safe.
Authorities say Tommy Lee took the children from the mother's home in the Helena Section of Newberry County after a forcible entry.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for service to a house located on Woodpecker Trail after officials say the people who live in the house knew Tommy Lee, and when they saw the amber alert, they confronted him and called law enforcement.
Tommy Lee fled by foot and a search ensued. He was found in a yard on Woodpecker Trail in St. Mathews and taken into custody.
According to officials, Tommy Lee is a registered sex offender who threatened to kill the family and burn down the house.
“It was a non-custodial parent, he was also a tier three sex offender,” Sherriff Lee Foster, with the Newberry County Sherriff’s Office said. “We also felt like he might have done some harm to the children because he had threatened other people in the house, with burning the house down around them and also doing physical harm so we felt like the children were in danger.”
Both of Tommy Lee’s children were found safe outside the house by deputies, and they were checked out by EMS.
“They’re upset obviously. This is their father,” Chief Deputy Matthew Trentham, with the Calhoun County Sherriff’s Office said. “The children are here, and it seems like a custodial issue between mom and dad and it’s always sad when kids get drug into this stuff because they don’t know any different.”
The children were released to the mother who has full custody of them, according to Trentham.
Tommy Lee will be charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of burglary.
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