US Marshals recover kidnapped child in Darlington County

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A Darlington County man accused of kidnapping his 5-year-old son from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania this weekend was taken into custody by US Marshals on Tuesday.

A press release from the US Marshals task force states 49-year-old Willard Thomas was wanted by the Harrisburg Police Department for Kidnapping, concealment of whereabouts of child, and interference With custody of children.  Police say Thomas is accused of  kidnapping his 5-year-old son from the front yard of his legal guardian Saturday in Harrisburg.

Operation Intercept, the U.S. Marshals fugitive led task force in South Carolina, were put on the case Tuesday.

While watching Thomas’s residence in Darlington, Deputy Marshals learned Thomas had turned himself in to the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office.

Members of Operation Intercept located the 5-year-old boy inside the home and recovered him without incident.  The child was turned over to the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services and Thomas was booked into the Darlington County Detention Center to await extradition to Harrisburg.

“The US Marshals are delighted that this child was recovered safely and that Mr. Thomas will be returned to Pennsylvania to answer the charges against him.  The combined efforts of the US Marshals Service, our local law enforcement partners, and the public ensured a quick and safe resolution to a potentially devastating situation,” said Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for South Carolina in the press release.

Operation Intercept, in the Florence area, consists of members of the U.S. Marshals, Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Hartsville Police Department, and Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office.