HENDERSON, NC – Saturday around 7 p.m., information was received that a suspect from an Amber Alert was driving a green Grand Marquis with Texas tags and was possibly in the area.
He was said to have a 12-year-old kidnap victim in the car with him.
With intel from the S.B.I., Henderson Police Officers were able to apprehend the suspect, 21-year-old, Kaleb Merritt, and found 12-year-old Allie Broadway, who was named in national media coverage and the originating Amber Alert, behind the businesses of the Dabney West Shopping Center, 1520 Dabney Drive.
A fugitive warrant was obtained on Merritt on the outstanding Virginia warrants.
Merritt was placed in the Vance County Detention Facility without bond to await extradition.
The victim was returned home safely through the investigating agency from Henry County, Virginia.
UPDATE: Virginia State Police canceled the Amber Alert issued out for 12-year-old Allie Michelle Broadaway around 7:32 p.m. Saturday as the Henry County girl was safely located.
The Sheriff’s Office said the child abduction suspect, 21-year-old Kaleb Merritt, has been arrested.
On February 11, 2021, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Southwestern Virginia Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. The task force had received a complaint from a social media messaging application regarding concerning messages between a 12-year-old female and a 21 year old male.
Investigators from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into the messages. Investigators identified the 12-year female as Allie Michelle Broadaway of Bassett, Virginia. The adult male in question was identified as Kaleb Christopher Merritt, 21 of 1030 Lemm Rd., Spring, Texas.
Investigators discovered that Merritt had been frequenting a 24-hour fitness facility located on Greensboro Rd. Investigators found Merritt inside the fitness facility, at that time, investigators seized his electronic devices to be forensically analyzed.
On February 12, 2021, at 1:45 pm, Allie Michelle Broadaway was reported missing from her home on Reed Creek Dr. Through the investigation, it was discovered that Kaleb Christopher Merritt met Broadaway in December 2020 on Instagram. They communicated via social media until Merritt traveled to Virginia in early February 2021 to meet with Broadaway.
Upon completing the forensic analysis of the electronic devices, it was discovered that upon arriving in Henry County, Merritt set up a camp in a wooded area behind Broadaway’s home and met with Allie Michelle Broadaway on several occasions. Merritt communicated with Broadaway via a messaging app and instructed her to leave her home. It’s believed that after being coerced to leave her home, she was picked up by Merritt and hasn’t been seen since.
Kaleb Christopher Merritt, white male, 5’10” 250 lbs. is currently wanted for abduction in relation to this incident. They are believed to be traveling in a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, light green in color, Texas registration DMP-2294. A nationwide broadcast and AMBER Alert was sent out for Allie Michelle Broadaway.
This incident remains under investigation by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and FBI.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office requests the publics' assistance in locating Allie Michelle Broadaway and Kaleb Christopher Merritt. Anyone having information is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2500.00 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.