A “concerned citizen” is being credited in the rescue of a 5-year-old girl taken by her non-custodial mother across Pennsylvania state lines, Virginia police say.
Inez Foulk went missing on Monday, April 25, from Polk Township when her grandmother said the girl’s mother fled with her as they were at a ShopRite Supermarket. The mother, Courtney Foulk, is only permitted to have supervised visits with Inez and is not allowed to be alone with her, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Troopers sent out a missing endangered person advisory for Inez and also released identifying information for the blue Chevy Lumina driven by her mother.
A citizen traveling on Interstate 95 on Tuesday, April 26, saw the advisory and observed the vehicle disabled at an Exxon gas station in Caroline County, Virginia, state police said. The gas station is nearly 300 miles south of where Inez was last seen.
The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office said the citizen called 911 and provided the license plate number of the vehicle, which was confirmed to be the one involved in the missing person advisory. Deputies responded to the gas station, where they safely rescued the child and arrested 37-year-old Courtney Foulk, the sheriff’s office said.
It was a truck driver from New York who alerted deputies to the location of Inez, Caroline County Lt. Travis Nutter told WTVR.
“When deputies searched the car they were in, they were unable to locate any clothes for the child or the mother,” Nutter told the station. “There was no food, no money for the mother to be able to purchase food and that sort of thing.”
Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa said he is “thankful” for the citizen who alerted authorities when he saw the vehicle and the girl.
“This citizen watched the vehicle and child, constantly providing information, until deputies could arrive and recover the child,” Lippa said. “I am also very thankful for the continued hard work and dedication of our Caroline County deputies. More than all, I am happy to report that the little girl in this case is safe.”
Foulk will be extradited to Pennsylvania, state police said. Her charges have not been announced.
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