Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 12, 2012

Police looking for child abducted from Mercer County

CAMP CREEK — A massive manhunt is underway for a Mercer County man who is believed to have killed his wife, robbed his parents and abducted his 8-year-old daughter.

An Amber Alert was issued Thursday evening for Porshia Atwell, 8, of Camp Creek after she was abducted from the residence where she was living with her grandparents. Her father, Tracey Lee Atwell, 38, of the Spanishburg-Camp Creek area of Mercer County is believed to have abducted the girl and stolen a white 1999 Jeep Cherokee Laredo from his parents after murdering his wife.

Sgt. J.A. Amos with the West Virginia State Police Beckley detachment said Atwell told his parents that he had murdered his wife — who is also the girl’s mother — before taking the girl from their residence.

“It is believe that Tracy Atwell tied up his parents, robbed and stole their 1999 white Grand Cherokee Laredo,” Amos said. “He then abducted his eight-year-old daughter. His parents had custody of her at the time. He advised his parents he had killed his wife before he robbed them. I do not know his parents condition at this time, but they were able to talk with police when they arrived on scene. When police responded to the scene of his home, they found his wife dead. There is a massive manhunt underway in reference to the murder, kidnapping and robbery.”

Sgt. Greg Duckworth with the West Virginia State Police Beckley detachment said Atwell should be “considered extremely armed and dangerous.”  Do not approach call police immediately.

Duckworth said one of the parents was able to get free from the bindings and alerted police. Police are not releasing details into the death of Atwell’s wife.

Porshia Atwell is described as a white female who measures 4 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs approximately 75 pounds. She is believed to be “in extreme danger,” according to the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment. Tracey Lee Atwell, 38, is described as 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs around 180 pounds with hazel eyes. There is the possibility the two are traveling in a white Jeep Cherokee Laredo with West Virginia license plate numbers 6C3202.

Trooper J.C. Teubert said Atwell may be headed for the Iaeger area of McDowell County and law enforcement in Mercer County employed helicopters in the search for the missing girl.

“We’ve got air support looking for the Jeep in the area,” Teubert said. “We’re thinking she might be in McDowell County somewhere. Her father has roots in Iaeger. We have units out looking for her everywhere. We are looking for her in Raleigh, Mercer, McDowell counties and in Virginia.”

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