Missing 3-year-old boy found safe after Amber Alert issued; father in custody

A 3-year-old Virginia boy is home safe with his 23-year-old mother Thursday after he was allegedly abducted by his father, triggering an Amber Alert that lasted from Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office issued the alert for Zion Williams after investigators said the child's father, 28-year-old Joshua Williams, took the boy after assaulting his mother Wednesday evening.

"He attacked [the mother] physically," said Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office Capt. Jeff Pearce. "Unknown yet if he used any kind of a weapon, but she received some very serious injuries to her face, head and upper body."

Investigators said the child's father drove off with the boy in the mother's car that was recovered hours before the child was found unharmed.

The 3-year-old was believed to be in extreme danger, but was located at around 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the child's grandmother's house in another county. About 40 minutes later, Joshua Williams was taken into custody on felony abduction and felony malicious wounding charges.

Pearce said Joshua Williams gave up peacefully after investigators found him in a home that was under surveillance in Spotsylvania County.

After the Amber Alert went out, the sheriff's office said help began arriving in waves.

"People take those very seriously and we certainly appreciate that," said Capt. Pearce. "In addition to that, the media coverage that we have been able to get out today also made everyone aware of what Mr. Williams' description was, the urgency that was created here by his former threats against the child, and I think all those things combined along with some really good police work by detectives and those assisting us led to a successful resolution in this case. It kept him pinned down to one spot in one area."