Sheriff B. Phil Howell announces the peaceful ending to a late-night search warrant resulting in the arrest of three persons and a safe baby.
On Friday, February 28th the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office was notified by multiple agencies that a baby was endangered. Ricky Finley, 33-year-old male and Kayla Widener, 30-year-old female, both from the White Top community were considered fugitives from justice and were on the run with their less than 4-month-old infant child.
At approximately 1:00 pm, the United States Marshal Service reached out to forward the information they had on the two suspects. After law enforcement in Virginia began to run out of options, the search expanded to Ashe County. After briefings between several agencies, Ashe County detectives and patrol officers went out into the community looking for leads.
At approximately 7:00 pm, a tip from one of our contacts earlier in the day led to the home of Timothy Hartzog Jr. at 1095 Parsons Hill Road in Lansing, NC. Our initial attempt to request entrance to the home from Hartzog went unanswered. Our highest priority was ensuring the safety of the small infant. This led the officers attempting to locate the fugitives and the child inside this residence to surround the home and remain there for several hours awaiting a search warrant. The search warrant for the home was executed around midnight. The fugitives and baby were located in the home, the baby safe and unharmed. The situation resulted in the arrest of both fugitives as well as the homeowner for harboring them.
Ricky Dale Finley and Kayla Leann Widener were arrested on fugitive warrants and later extradited to VA where they faced other charges in Washington County. The infant was returned to the custody of Washington County Department of Social Services. Timothy Dale Hartzog Jr was charged with Harboring/Aiding Certain Persons then later released on a $2,500 bond.