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.

Featured

SHOPS & SERVICES

Consolidated board determines North Kanawha will remain a two-way street

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted to keep North Kanawha Street a two-way street after previously considering making it a one-way road. The CPWB took up two previously discussed traffic items during their Jan. 26 meeting. The board […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Barbour County man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile in his care

BUCKHANNON — A Barbour County man who is listed on the West Virginia State Police’s Sex Offender Registry has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor in his care. Kenneth D. Call, 52, of Belington, W.Va., was […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Buckhannon: Then & Now – Big snow in Upshur County

Buckhannon: Then & Now. Join us in showcasing Upshur County throughout history and today. Much like today, Buckhannon has experienced major snow accumulations throughout history. Pictured here, Buckhannon received a record breaking accumulation of 40

County commission tasks new owner of Holly Apartments with cleaning up the site, will reevaluate in 90 days

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has given the new owners of the Holly Apartments building in Adrian 90 days to clean up the property. The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a fire spread throughout the whole […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

B-U claims 11 conference titles, finishes second at Big 10 Swim Championships on Saturday

BRIDGEPORT — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School girls and boys swim teams collected 11 gold medals, two conference records and a second-place overall finish at the Big 10 Championships in Bridgeport on Saturday. The host Indians won the combined team event, […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Wesleyan lacrosse picked fifth in MEC preseason poll

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – West Virginia Wesleyan women’s lacrosse has been selected to finish fifth in the Mountain East Conference, the league announced today. WVWC totaled nine points in the vote. Frostburg State and Notre Dame College tied

Swim Bucs head into Saturday’s conference championship meet coming off strong final performance at home

BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School boys and girls swim teams will head into the Big 10 Conference Championships on Saturday with the current at their backs after winning 10 events in their final home meet of the season. The […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Owens steps down as head coach of Lady Bobcat soccer program

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – Richard Owens has resigned as head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer program, WVWC Athletic Department announced on Thursday. Owens spent five seasons as head coach of the Lady Bobcats,

SHOPS & SERVICES

This Week in West Virginia History: Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Charleston, WV – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org. Jan. 29, 1903: The great rhododendron was designated the