Freeland mother and son, 4, abducted from home, saved by sheriff’s deputies

Deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office saved a woman and her 4-year-old child from a man who abducted them from their Freeland home Friday morning.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said deputies located the suspect’s car traveling on Highway 20 near Coupeville at about 11:30 a.m. They closed the highway near Jacobs Road, executed a felony stop and rescued the woman and boy from the car.

The suspect, 22-year-old George Downey, was arrested without incident on suspicion of two counts of kidnapping, violation of a protection order and burglary. Brown said there was a domestic violence no-contact order which barred Downey from contacting either the woman or the child.

“It was a pretty disturbing incident,” Brown said.

The sheriff said the department was in the process of sending out an Amber Alert, which alerts the community about a child abduction, when the arrest was made.

Brown said the distraught woman called 911 from an E. Harbor Road home at 10:42 a.m. She told the dispatcher that her boyfriend was breaking in the house, in violation of a no-contact order. The woman screamed and the line went dead.

According to Brown, Lt. Evan Tingstad arrived at the scene about 11 minutes after the 911 call was first made. He found a broken window, but the house was empty.

The deputies immediately started looking for Downey and his vehicle. A deputy positioned on Highway 20 spotted the vehicle as it was headed north.

Downey was transported to Whidbey General Hospital for treatment of a laceration on his hand. The woman and child were also transported to the hospital. Brown said a detective is investigating allegations of another crime, but he couldn’t go into specifics.

Brown said he was very impressed by the deputies’ action.

“The deputies quick action possibly averted further harm to both of the victims,” he said.


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