West Virginia state police have obtained a warrant to arrest a man on a kidnapping charge over allegations he abandoned an abducted child unharmed Friday in Washington County, only to lead police on a wild pursuit in a stolen van into Allegheny County.
Timothy Adam White, 23, of Reedsville, W.Va., also faces a charge of grand larceny auto theft over accusations he stole a car outside his residence and used it to transport 2-year-old Starr Parks across the state line into Pennsylvania, said Sgt. C.W. DeBerry of West Virginia State Police in Morgantown.
“We’re still trying to determine the motive,” said DeBerry on Monday after he met with prosecutors in Allegheny County about how to proceed with the case, since White faces related charges in Pittsburgh and Washington County.
Authorities may decide, he said, to quickly return White to West Virginia, where he is facing the most serious charges in the bizarre case.
White, who came to West Virginia from Alabama and has no job, had been living with the girl’s parents above a convenience store for about two weeks before he decided to take the child from the home, DeBerry said. He said investigators had yet to learn what type of relationship White had with the girl’s mother, or what made the suspect decide to drive north into Pennsylvania.
White and the girl’s mother, Stephanie Parks, had borrowed a car to drive to a store about 11:45 a.m. Friday. She trusted him to carry the girl to the car while she returned to their apartment to retrieve a diaper bag, DeBerry said.
Within a matter of moments, she went back outside and the car was gone, he said.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation workers found the stolen 2009 Toyota Corolla parked about two hours later with an empty gasoline tank near a PennDOT maintenance shed along Interstate 79 in Amwell Township. Pennsylvania state police eventually learned the car had been stolen and involved in a kidnapping in Preston County, W.Va., about the same time Washington County 911 received a call that White had allegedly abandoned the child in Richeyville and fled in a stolen Atlantic Broadband cable van.
Jim Weid of 510 Oak St. in Richeyville said White jumped into his van with the girl when Weid approached him on Route 40 to ask if he needed help. Weid then drove them to his house, where White simply walked across the street by himself and drove off in the van. The cable van was quickly spotted by police on the nearby Mon-Fayette Expressway, where the pursuit began. It continued on Route 51 north to Baldwin, where White crashed the van into police cruisers stationed as a roadblock.
White was charged with aggravated assault on police there, as well as resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and fleeing or attempting to elude police. Pennsylvania state police in Belle Vernon also plan to charge him with stealing the van in Richeyville.
He was remanded Saturday morning to Allegheny County Jail on $1 million bond and faces a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Feb. 20 before District Judge Pat Capolupo on the charges filed by state police in Pittsburgh. Another $1 million detainer has been placed on White in connection with the kidnapping case.