Giles child abduction press conference

Stanley Meador, special agent in charge of the Richmond, Va., FBI field office, speaks during the press conference on Monday.

PEARISBURG, Va. — Giles County’s residents breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday after they learned that a child that was abducted Sunday from a church’s nursery had been found safe in Alleghany County,Va.

The Virginia State Police issued an Amber Alert after 2-year-old Noah Gabriel Trout was abducted from the nursery at Riverview Baptist Church off Big Stony Creek Road in Ripplemead, Va. Members of the FBI and the Virginia State Police located him Monday afternoon in Alleghany County, Va. The Giles County Sheriff’s Office announced soon afterward that Noah was safe and that one arrest had been made.

People throughout the community were happy to learn that Noah had been found safe. The news soon spread through downtown Pearisburg,Va.

“Oh, I was so relieved, relieved,” said Cathy Sutphin of Pearisburg, Va. “I think the whole community was relieved that he was found. That was the talk of the town here. There is a sense of community here. Everybody thinks about each other. You let the family know we’re so happy the baby was found.”

Frank Longrie, a member of Riverview Baptist Church, said outside the sheriff’s office that while the church is larger than most, it feels smaller because its members are close to one another, so everyone has been praying for Noah and his family.

“A wave of emotions ran over me, and it was terrific news,” Longrie said about hearing that Noah was safe.

Mondays are fairly quiet in downtown Pearisburg, but the news added an element of joy and relief.

“Well, you know, it’s wonderful that they found the little fellow and he was safe,” said Tom Sweeney of Big Stoney Creek Road.

Everyone had been waiting for word about Noah ever since his abduction Sunday afternoon.

“I’m very, very relieved,” Junior Neely of Pearisburg said. “We just heard about it at the doctor, and the nurses and everybody said that he was OK.”

Not everybody had heard that Noah was safe. Two women working at a downtown restaurant heard the news when the Bluefield Daily Telegraph asked them about it.

“Oh, really? Oh, wow. I’m so glad,” Kelsey Underwood of Narrows, Va. said. “I’m happy he’s back. I can’t believe somebody would take him in broad daylight from a church, especially around here.”

Allie Burton of Narrows said the incident had scared her.

“I’m glad that he’s back safe. I have a 2-year-old and I don’t know what I’d do if I lost her,” she said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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