Thomas Underwood

Buckhannon man arrested for child concealment

BUCKHANNON – State police arrested a Buckhannon man on charges of child concealment Friday after he allegedly defied a court order by picking his daughter up after school and refusing to return her to her mother.

Thomas Lee Underwood, 35, was charged with child concealment, a felony, Friday following an incident that occurred Monday, Oct. 8, during which he allegedly violated a domestic protection order issued in Upshur County Family Court.

The order grants Underwood weekends-only visitation rights, according to the file.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office, on Tuesday, Oct. 9, the juvenile’s mother submitted a handwritten statement to investigating officer Cpl. B.K. Wright with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

The statement alleges that Underwood picked the couple’s 6-year-old daughter up after school on Monday, Oct. 8 without permission and had since refused to bring her home to her mother. According to Wright, an up-to-date copy of the order of protection issued in family court grants the girl’s mother custody, while Underwood has only weekend visitation rights.

Wright verified the order with Upshur County Magistrate Court, he noted in the complaint.

In the statement she delivered to Wright, the child’s mother said Underwood had previously threatened to leave West Virginia with the child, the criminal complaint states. In addition, the mother said Underwood’s previous actions had also frightened her: on several occasions, Underwood allegedly attempted to lure the child’s mother “away from a safe place to exchange the child.”

However, the child’s mother refused to cooperate because she feared for her safety, the file says.

The complaint also says that on Oct. 9, the child’s mother made plans to meet Underwood and her child at a distinct location near U.S. Route 33 at Wright’s direction.

However, Underwood failed to show up, and when Wright tried to call Underwood, the state trooper’s call went to voicemail.

The file says Underwood later allegedly contacted the child’s mother and said, “I hear you got the state police involved. You done screwed up.”

According to West Virginia Code, child concealment is the act of concealing, taking or removing a minor child “in violation of any court order with the intent to deprive another person lawful custody or visitation rights.”

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bail at $150,000 – $10,000 cash and $140,000 surety. The conditions of Underwood’s bond prohibit him from having any verbal or contact with the juvenile victim or her mother.

The penalty for a conviction of child concealment is confinement in the state penitentiary for one to five years.

However, at court’s discretion, a person found guilty of child concealment may be imprisoned in the county jail for up to one year, fined up to $1,000 or both.

SHOPS & SERVICES

Featured

St. Joseph’s Hospital recognizes Advanced Practice Providers

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – St. Joseph’s Hospital recognized the contributions of their Advance Practice Providers (APP) during National Advanced Practice Week from September 26 to 30.  Jennifer Dorazio, Director of Ancillary Services and Ambulatory Clinics, personally

Filming of Christ-centered movie ‘In God’s Time’ is based on a true story and set to begin Oct. 11 in Buckhannon

BUCKHANNON – A Bridgeport-based film-making company is scheduled to shoot their next movie entirely in Buckhannon. JC Films Studios, a Christ-centered, faith-based film production company, will start filming their next movie “In God’s Time” at various locations throughout Buckhannon next […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

WVSSAC playoff ratings: Week 6

Here are the AAA Week 6 football rankings from the WVSSAC. The Bucs, who were idle, are in a three-way tie for 19th place.

WVWC Volleyball

Volleyball Lady ‘Cats fall to Davis & Elkins, 3-0

ELKINS, W.Va. — The West Virginia Wesleyan (5-12, 1-4 Mountain East Conference) volleyball team dropped its road contest against Davis & Elkins (10-7, 3-2 Mountain East Conference) on Tuesday (Oct. 4) night at the McDonnell

BUHS Girls Soccer Feature Image

Soccer Lady Bucs down Brooke

WELLSBURG – The Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc soccer team went 1-2 during a three-game stretch on the road. Last Saturday, the Lady Bucs suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of George Washington and followed that up with a 3-0 loss […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Football Little Bucs roll past Tucker Valley, 38-14

TENNERTON – Brody McDaniels threw for two touchdowns and 84 yards as the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Little Bucs cruised to a 38-14 win over visiting Tucker Valley Thursday night at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium. Going to a spread offense […]

There’s more to this story! Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to daily, in-depth local news that matters to you. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

DHHR recommends flu vaccines to West Virginians of all ages

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is recommending West Virginians ages 6-months and older to be vaccinated against the flu as the season approaches, as well as encouraging