EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSAMBER ALERT OVER
from Eyewitness News Online
State Police Arrest Suspect In Amber Alert Case; Teenager, Baby Found Safe
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Mar. 13, 2013 1:15 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 3:40 PM EDT
Jane Lew , Lewis County , West Virginia
The man who prompted a multi-state search and Amber Alert has been arrested and is now facing sexual abuse charges. Charges stemming from the Amber Alert are pending.
Shaina Tenney, the 16-year-old who police said was abducted by her stepfather, and her 7-month old baby were found unharmed Wednesday morning. They were in the car with Margel Tenney when he was pulled over on Interstate 79 in Lewis County, not far from his home.
The Amber Alert started in Upshur County. State Police said Tenney then went into Webster County and picked up Shaina's 18-year-old brother. From there, he traded cars in Randolph County, before finally going into the Fairmont area and crossing into Ohio. Police said Wednesday morning he was making his way back home.
Margel Tenney had two other alleged victims, who police said he sexually abused and that may have been what prompted the abduction of the other victims.
"I didn't think I was doing anything wrong," Tenney said as he left Lewis County Magistrate Court. He said he took the children to Fairmont.
After Tenney was on the run for more than 15 hours, a trooper spotted the Ford Taurus traveling south on I-79 near Jane Lew. He was stopped without incident.
"He advised today that he was heading back into Upshur County to turn himself in," said State Police Sgt. C.M. Alton.
Shaina, her baby and her brother James Tenney, who was also in the car, were all unharmed.
"They were obviously upset, they were transported to child protective services from the scene," said Alton.
Police believe it all started Tuesday afternoon, Tenney was being questioned at the State Police headquarters in Upshur County for allegedly sexually abusing two teenage relatives. He left the detachment and that is when troopers said he went to his home in Kanawha Head and abducted his stepdaughter and her baby and took off, telling one person he was taking them to Texas.
"I was shocked, I've known Margel for years all of this is unbelievable," neighbor Kay Riffle said.
Tenney is charged with two counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian for what is described in the criminal complaint as a graphic crime against two teenage relatives, not the girl who was abducted. Tenney allegedly told police when he was being questioned on Tuesday that he had already confessed to the Lord.
State Police said a statewide Amber Alert and a search for a man and two children is over and began when the suspect was being questioned Tuesday for the alleged sex abuse of two teenage girls.
Sometime after troopers questioned Margel Tenney, they said, Tenney took off with his 16-year-old stepdaughter, Shaina Tenney, 16, and her baby, Grace Hope Tenney. State Police said that the stepdaughter was not one of the alleged sex abuse victims.
State Police said when Margel Tenney fled from Upshur County with the girls, Shaina Tenney’s 18-year-old brother also was in the vehicle. Margel Tenney had just picked up the 18-year-old from work.
An Amber Alert was issued because authorities feared the girls were in danger. Through various reports, State Police believe Margel Tenney traveled through several West Virginia counties into Fairmont and then crossed over into Ohio before heading back to Lewis County Wednesday morning. He was traveling south on Interstate 79 at mile marker 104 near Jane Lew when a trooper spotted the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.
Margel Tenney was arrested without incident. The girls were taken to Child Protective Services. At this point, Margel Tenney has only been charged with two counts of sexual abuse by a parent or a guardian. State Police said charges from the Amber Alert are likely to follow but have not been filed yet.
Tenney was arraigned in Lewis County Magistrate Court and was being held on $100,000 bond.
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