Bledsoes

Wesley Bledsoe, 7, (picture left) and father, Daniel, were located safe in Alabama following a multi-state search over the course of Feb. 7. The pair were reported missing earlier that day.

ELK PARK — A local man and his son were discovered unharmed in Alabama after being reported as missing persons on Feb. 7.

Wesley Bledsoe was transported to his bus stop that morning by his father Daniel Bledsoe, but Daniel failed to return home. This prompted his wife to call the school to find out if Wesley had arrived at school, and she was told he had not.

This prompted a search for the pair and the family’s vehicle. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office advised the public to be on the lookout for a White 2007 Honda CRV with damage to the driver’s side front quarter panel.

The pair were later located by Alabama authorities in that state after a large response to the Sheriff Office’s initial Facebook post about the incident, which has been shared more than 1,100 times.

In the aftermath, a follow-up post on the page expressed thanks to a number of law enforcement and emergency entities, including Avery County’s 911 dispatch the, NC State Bureau of Investigation, the US Marshals Service and the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children.

In an interview following the incident, Frye said there was no kidnapping involved or any crimes committed, and that the office would not be investigating the incident further.

“There was no criminal intent,” Frye said.

Frye said Daniel took Wesley to the bus stop like he normally does, but as the bus driver pulled forward to free the bus from the mud, the pair returned to the vehicle and drove away.

Frye said the pair traveled to Alabama to visit family, and the missing persons response was due to the departure without letting anyone know.

“We didn’t know what happened,” Frye said.

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