Missing North Carolina Girl Found

Savannah Childress was abducted, found safe in Arkansas
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2021 3:20 AM CST

Savannah Grace Childress, 14, was abducted from her home in Denton, NC, on Feb. 11—but on Saturday night, she was found safe. She was with suspect William Ice, who had communicated with her via online platforms, in Arkansas when police spotted his SUV, which was linked to the abduction case, at a McDonald's. They stopped the car and ordered him out, at which point he started firing at the officers, critically injuring one, police say. The second officer returned fire and Ice fled, but his vehicle eventually became disabled in a snowbank, at which point Savannah was able to exit. Police found Ice inside, suffering from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound; he later died at a hospital, ABC News reports.

Savannah was reunited with her family, and the injured officer is expected to make a full recovery. The teen is "definitely traumatized and has a long road ahead of her to recovery," an investigator says. WFMY News reports Ice, 38, was wanted in connection with other child predator cases at the time, including a case out of Pennsylvania involving a 14-year-old girl in which an arrest warrant had just been issued two days before Savannah was taken. Following his death, officers discovered 10 other children who had been in contact with him online in the same North Carolina county. He allegedly posed as a teenager online, WCNC reports. WFMY runs down five chat apps parents should be wary of, including Emerald Chat, which is where Ice allegedly found Savannah. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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