NEWPORT NEWS, VA - On September 1, the Newport News Police Department and the United States Marshals Service arrested Joel Hernandez-Melendez, 20, after he reportedly abducted a 16-year-old girl in Northern Virginia, last month.
On August 20, the Leesburg Police Department issued the following press release:
On Friday, August 19, 2022, at approximately 9:30 PM, the Leesburg Police Department Emergency Communications Center received a call for service for a suspicious event at a residence located in the 0-99 block of Fort Evans Road NE. Officers responded and determined that, pursuant to an altercation, Joel Hernandez-Melendez assaulted Yelsi Mendez-Chicas and abducted her by force.
Two days after she was kidnapped, the teen victim was found in Newport News, but the suspect had fled.
Hernandez-Melendez was charged with felony abduction and assault and battery. He is currently being held at the Newport News City Jail on a federal detainer.
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