HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — The search for a 12-year-old North Carolina girl who was the subject of a multi-state Amber Alert ended Wednesday evening when she was found by police in South Florida and her alleged abductor was apprehended, authorities said.
The FBI reported that Abigale Faith Lefevers and Timothy Newman, 38, a registered sex offender, were stopped in Hallandale Beach, approximately 850 miles from their homes in Newport, N.C.
“This one ended really well. Everybody’s safe and sound,” Carteret County, N.C., Chief Deputy Ken Raper said. “For two or three days, we were very skeptical. We didn’t know where he was.”
Police said Lefevers was a little shaken, but was otherwise fine pending the results of a physical examination that officials were trying to arrange Wednesday night.
Raper said efforts were under way to get the girl back to North Carolina on Thursday.
Investigators in Carteret County say Lefevers had been communicating with Newman in recent weeks by text messages. She had not been seen since Monday.
Raper said breaks in the effort to find Lefevers came when information on her disappearance was distributed in Georgia. He said tips on the whereabouts of the missing pair came in non-stop for two days, including from motorists who “were wearing us out with information.”
“We got an Amber Alert in Georgia and the phones lit up. We were swamped with calls,” he said. “About 4:30, we got a tip they could be in the Coral Gables area. The information was pretty good. We went to work very quickly with that.”
Raper said flyers and photographs were distributed in Florida.
“An off-duty police officer was getting information on his phone, and he happened to look up and the car was in front of him,” Raper said, referring to the red Chrysler Sebring which was believed to be the car Newman was using to elude capture.
“He reacted to the information and got some on-duty units, and they got the stop,” Raper said.
Before his capture, Newman’s mother issued a statement to WITN-TV in Washington, N.C., asking her son to turn himself in.
“We are devastated and we are praying and trusting for them both to be returned safely, and we ask that if Tim can hear us to please turn himself in,” Laura Newman said in the statement.
Newman was released from prison in March 2011 after he served a total of 22 months, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the N.C. Division of Adult Correction.
He served just over one year in prison for two counts of sexual offense involving a 14-year-old girl in Stokes County, N.C. He was paroled in October 2005. Acree said.
Newman’s parole was revoked in August 2010 and he was returned to prison, where he served eight months before he was released in March 2011.