Kidnapping probe ends with best outcome
by Allen Worrell
The Carroll County Sheriff's Office issued a press release Friday evening stating that Pierre Morand is no longer being sought in connection to the note left at the Quality Inn in Hillsville from a girl claiming she was missing. The girl listed on the note has been located and is safe as well.
"This young girl and the man from Quebec have no connection and were located in different areas of the United States," the Sheriff's Office said on its facebook page. "Hundreds of people all over the United States helped in this search and we are greatly appreciative."
Law enforcement agencies from all across the continent are working with the Hillsville Police Department on a possible kidnapping case in Hillsville.
Hillsville Police Department Sgt./Investigator James “Junior” Alderman said the FBI, Virginia State Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Lachute Police in Canada are all working with local authorities after HPD Captain Jason Hawks received a call from the Quality Inn Hotel in Hillsville on Thursday advising that housekeeping found a handwritten note from a child named Jasmine Hines claiming to be “missing.” Alderman said a search of national, state and local databanks for missing children has yet to come up with a missing person by that name.
Police determined that on November 28, a man named Pierre Morand, of Lachute, Quebec checked into the Quality Inn Hotel, located at Exit 14 on Interstate 77, and rented a room for one person. A later check of video surveillance footage revealed that the man appeared to have a young girl traveling with him, although Alderman said the video quality is very poor. Pierre is seen checking out of the hotel and leaving in a white mini-van with what appears to be two bicycles on a rack on the back.
Police are asking for assistance in locating Morand and attempting to verify the welfare of the young child traveling with him.
Alderman said authorities believe Morand is headed to Florida on vacation. Authorities are looking for him in Florida and are also trying to contact a family from Pennsylvania that recently stayed in the Quality Inn with a name similar to Jasmine Hines.
“As of right now I want to stress we don’t know that anybody has done anything wrong. The note is asking for help and we are trying to help. It could be a case of wrong place, wrong time, but it is something that is a health and welfare check to make sure nobody is missing, everyone is okay,” Alderman said. “We hope to resolve it quickly. But we don’t know if the note was written last night or 30 days ago. That’s the negative…we don’t know, but we are checking every avenue.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Captain Jason Hawks or Investigator Junior Alderman with the Hillsville Police Department at 276-728-2251 or the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 276-728-4146.
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