From Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: At 8:00 p.m. April 17, 2020, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office received a teletype message from the Rockingham County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office. The teletype requested Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies check an address on Centerville Road in reference to a parental abduction case out of their jurisdiction. The teletype advised that a husband and wife, Paul Ritchie Jr. and April Ritchie, were possibly at this location with their 2 year old and 13 year old children. The children were considered missing and endangered. They were believed to be traveling in a minivan.
At 8:30 p.m., Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the address and as they were approaching the location on foot, they observed a male subject sitting in a minivan. The male started the vehicle and sped off. At 8:35 p.m. deputies initiated a pursuit of the minivan. Other deputies along with Bedford Town police officers checked the address and found April Ritchie, age 34, of Timberville, Va., and the two children there. She was taken into custody for two counts of kidnapping by a parent and a capias for fail to appear in Rockingham County J&D Court.
Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the minivan at speeds between 40 mph up to 80 mph north on Rt. 122, Big Island Highway, to Rt. 501. The minivan turned left onto Rt. 501, Lee Jackson Highway, and traveled north to Rt. 130 into Amherst County. At that time, Amherst County Sheriff’s deputies took the lead in the pursuit and at 9:07 p.m. were able to get the minivan stopped. Paul E. Ritchie Jr., age 38, of Timberville, Va., was taken into custody. He was charged with felony elude police, resisting arrest, along with the Rockingham County kidnapping by a parent charges.