A 16-month-old child who was taken from state custody in North Carolina by its biological parents was found safe during a traffic stop in Pike County Wednesday evening.

Kentucky State Police was contacted by detectives with the Taylorsville (North Carolina) Police Department in reference to a 16-month-old child which had allegedly been removed from a state home by its biological parents, identified as Tommie Varner, 46, of Taylorsville, North Carolina, and Amy N. Adkins, 28, also of Taylorsville, North Carolina, but formerly of Carter Drive, Pikeville.

According to details obtained by KSP through Det. Lisa Johnson of the TPD, Adkins and Varner are the biological parents of the child, but the child had been ordered to be removed from its parents by the state. When a social worker contacted Varner about removal of the child, he said he was leaving North Carolina and bound for an undisclosed location in Virginia and “they would not find his child,” the citation in the case said.

When North Carolina officials pinged Varner’s phone to determine a location, KSP was contacted at 7 p.m. Wednesday because the phone showed Varner at Big Lots in Coal Run, court records show. Troopers were given a vehicle description and dispatched to Big Lots, but failed to locate the vehicle. the citation said. Troopers contacted Det. Johnson to ping the location again, which then showed the phone traveling on U.S. 23 near Ratliffs Creek, the citation said.

Trooper Cory Charles executed a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the description near on Ky. 122 at Robinsons Creek and a license plate scan showed the vehicle was registered to Varner, court records show.

At that time Charles made contact with Varner, Adkins and the child, who was sitting in a safety seat in the back seat of the SUV, the citation said.

Varner told Charles that he had not been contacted by a social worker from North Carolina and the last time he had spoken to one, he told them he was “leaving and would return home for a few days,” the citation said. Adkins stated that she knew “she wasn’t allowed around the child without being supervised” and that the state order had been “in effect for a while,” the citation said. She told Charles that she is originally from Kentucky and that she and Varner “were coming to Kentucky to start over fresh,” the citation said.

Adkins denied knowing that social services had been coming to remove the child because she thought “the most recent case was closed until (Varner’s) mother called,” the citation said.

Pike County’s social services were called to take custody of the child until North Carolina social services could come and obtain the child, the citation said.

Varner was arrested on a charge of felony custodial interference, court records show. Adkins was arrested on charges of felony custodial interference and traffic charges, court documents show.

Both Adkins and Varner appeared at arraignment on their charges Thursday and agreed to have their case bound over to the Pike grand jury, court records show. Both were then ordered released on their own recognizance after being labeled as “low risk” by Pike District Judge Darrel Mullins, court documents show.

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