A West Virginia girl missing for weeks has been safely located. Her father is now facing both state and federal charges.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Gracelynn Scritchfield, a 4-year-old who disappeared from Fairmont, West Virginia, was found in Pecos, Texas, on Thursday afternoon. She was with her biological father, Arlie “Trey” Edward Hetrick III.
Hetrick was charged after failing to return the little girl to her mother after his scheduled visitation time was complete.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the little girl’s mother, Summer Scritchfield, said she hadn’t seen Grace since July 6, when she dropped her off for visitation with her father. Hetrick was supposed to return Gracelynn on July 13, but that never happened.
— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) August 2, 2019
Scritchfield called Hetrick on the evening of July 13, but he reportedly told her he took Gracelynn on vacation and would have her back by July 19. That, too, never happened. Authorities issued an AMBER Alert shortly after.
“I fear he’s either out of state or the country and maybe something could have happened to them both,” Scritchland told CrimeOnline earlier this week.
Authorities said the little girl was considered to be in extreme danger.
According to Matthew Horn of West Virginia State Police, the suspect has been known to stand outside and protest different religious dominations. Horn described the man as “fanatical” and said Hetrick has been arrested before for trespassing while protesting against religious organizations.
On Thursday, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for Northern West Virginia Alex P. Neville Sr. said that Gracelynn is safe and “appears to be in good health.”
Meanwhile, Scritchfield, who will be reunited with her daughter her today, told CrimeOnline she is extremely appreciative of anyone who shared information about her daughter’s disappearance.
“I just want to thank each and everyone of the people that continued to share my girl’s story daily in hopes of finding her. No one will ever understand the appreciation I have for them, and especially the law enforcement workers that worked hard every day to find my baby safe… I’m ecstatic to go and get her and have her reunited with me and her family.”
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[Feature Photo: Gracelynn Scritchfield, Trey Hetrick/Police Handout]