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Man accused of kidnapping stepdaughter and baby arrested on I-79

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Police have arrested an Upshur County man accused of abducting his 16-year-old stepdaughter and her 7-month-old baby on Tuesday.

State authorities issued an Amber Alert for Shaina Nicole Tenney and her 7-month-old daughter, Grace Tenney, of Rock Cave on Tuesday night.

Margel Franklin Tenney, Shaina Tenney's stepfather, was under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of another young relative. Police said Tenney, 57, took his stepdaughter and her baby after troopers interviewed him Tuesday. 

First Sgt. Mark Sanders of the State Police detachment in Glenville said a trooper from the Buckhannon detachment spotted Margel Tenney's gold-colored 2003 Ford Taurus heading south on Interstate 79 at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Tenney was pulled over by troopers from Buckhannon, Weston and Sutton a short time later about a mile south of the Jane Lew exit in Lewis County, Sanders said.

The trooper said Tenney was arrested without incident. Shaina Tenney, Grace and another male family member also were in the car, he said.

"Everyone appeared to be OK," Sanders said.

Troopers feared Tenney, a logging truck driver, would flee to Texas. The incident sparked a manhunt and troopers sent out numerous cellphone texts, email alerts and TV bulletins.

Tenney had not been charged in connection with Tuesday night's incident. However, he has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian as a result of the earlier investigation.

A 14-year-old girl told Trooper B.K. Wright on Friday that Tenney had placed his hands under her clothing and touched her, according to a criminal complaint filed by State Police in Upshur County Magistrate Court.

Troopers brought Tenney into the detachment for questioning Tuesday afternoon. He told troopers he believed the allegations against him, but "does not remember doing it," according to the complaint. Tenney allegedly told troopers he "has already confessed to the Lord and does not have to confess to law enforcement."

Tenney was being held Wednesday in Tygart Valley Regional Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bail.

Staff writer Rusty Marks contributed to this report. Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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