Authorities said Thursday evening that they found the woman sought in a reported abduction in Basye, but the suspect remained at large.
The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office obtained arrest warrants on Thursday for Mitchell Markley Jr. on charges of breaking and entering at night to commit an assault and battery and abduction by force or intimidation.
The search for the suspect and the woman authorities allege he abducted continued through Wednesday night and into Thursday and spanned parts of Shenandoah and Rockingham counties. Law enforcement agents tried to spot Markley from a helicopter and also used tracking dogs in their search.
Authorities urge anyone who sees Markley to not approach him and, instead, to contact the local law enforcement agency.
Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter provided an update on the investigation Thursday evening on social media.
The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office received a report shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday that Markley, 39, of no fixed address, had taken April Cline, 41, by force from her home at 2866 Fairway Drive, Basye, Carter said. A family member of Cline’s called emergency dispatchers to report the incident, Carter added.
“Both family members of Markley and the victim confirmed concerns that an abduction had taken place,” Carter said.
Later on Wednesday, agents with the Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the Fairway Drive address, Carter said.
“Evidence of what appeared to be a forcible entry and altercation at the residence was discovered during the search,” Carter said.
Initial reports indicated that Markley was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. Law enforcement officers later found the Impala in northern Rockingham County, Carter said. They then received information that a 2006 Dodge Dakota pickup had been reported stolen from a residence in northern Rockingham County.
Officers found the pickup on Jiggady Road, west of New Market, on Thursday, Carter said.
Officers located Cline northwest of New Market, Carter said. The victim told officers she last saw Markley on foot in the Quicksburg area, northwest of New Market, Carter said. Markley was last seen wearing blue-jean shorts and a black jacket.
Shenandoah County Public Schools put schools at its southern campus on a modified lockdown Thursday afternoon and then released students at the normal time, Carter said. A reverse 911 public service announcement issued to residents in the area alerted them about the incident.
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