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Missing Roanoke County children found safe, both parents in custody

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. — Many questions remain after three children involved in an Amber Alert in Roanoke County were found safe Wednesday.
Roanoke County Police says it started when they went to serve a removal order for Cameron, Emma, and Colin Allison, but the parents refused to hand the children over and reportedly fled.
Neighbors who live across the street from the home where this happened in the North Lakes area say they knew Ruby and John Allison and thought they were good parents.
“I was really upset and saddened because they are really good neighbors,” said Betty Hunter. who lives with her husband Edward Hunter across the street from the Allison family.
“The investigation was being conducted by the Department of Social Services so I can’t talk about those details and, frankly, I don’t really have all those details. They obtained the removal order, which normally they would have taken care of themselves. But given that Mr. Allison refused to cooperate, they involved us,” said Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall.
John Allison turned himself in Wednesday morning, but police believe Ruby took the children to Florida where John Allison’s parents may have lived. According to Chief Hall, John Allison’s parents may have been in the car when police took Ruby into custody on I-95 in South Carolina, but Chief Hall does not anticipate them facing any charges.
At this time, police are unsure exactly how long Ruby and her family were gone.
“I would imagine a relatively short amount of time, given the time it takes to drive from Roanoke to Florida and then turn around and get back to South Carolina. I can only imagine it was a very long day for them,” said Chief Hall.
Ruby and John Allison are both in custody and the children were taken by South Carolina authorities, who will coordinate with Roanoke County Social Services for them to be brought back.
Chief Hall says the priority was finding the children and getting them home safely. Now that they’ve been found, he says the investigation will continue.
“There’s a lot of follow up work that will have to take place. We’ll do the necessary extradition work to bring Ruby back. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will prepare the cases against her and John for prosecution. So all of that will play itself out,” said Chief Hall.
Neighbors say they just hope everything works out for the best.
“I had talked to John and I’ve spoke to Ruby a many times, and they’ve been very good neighbors. I think the system might have just treated them a little bit harsh,” Edward Hunter said.
UPDATE 1:03 p.m.: Roanoke County authorities released additional details about the search for the missing Allison children.
According to Amy Whittaker, the Public Information Officer for Roanoke County, Roanoke County Department of Social Services contacted the Roanoke County Police Department to request assistance in serving a child removal order in north Roanoke County on Tuesday, April 21. However, when social services personnel tried to serve the order assigning custody of the three children to DSS, their father refused to say where the children were or make arrangements to turn them over to DSS.
Out of concern the parents might try to remove the children from the Commonwealth, Whittaker says police obtained felony abduction warrants for 34-year-old John Allison and 35-year-old Ruby Allison and issued an Amber Alert Tuesday night, alerting law enforcement agencies across the eastern half of the U.S.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, John Allison turned himself in to Roanoke County Police at the Salem office of Aaron Houchens, John Allison’s attorney.  John Allison did not have the children and Whittaker says he has not assisted in locating them so far.
Police are still looking for the children and Ruby Allison, who is the mother of Emma and Colin and the stepmother of Cameron. Based on John Allison’s arrest, Whittaker says authorities are focusing their efforts on locating the 1999 maroon Chevy Suburban with Virginia tags VVU-3796, which may be operated by Ruby Allison
UPDATE 12:05 P.M.: John Allison, the father of Cameron, Emma, and Colin, turned himself in this morning at 10 a.m. at his attorney’s office in Salem.
Public information officer Amy Whitaker with Roanoke County tells WFXR News that the children are still believed to be with Ruby Allison, the children’s mother.
The focus has also turned to the Chevy Suburban with Virginia plates VMN 8238. If you see this vehicle, call police immediately.
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. — An Amber Alert has been issued for three children out of Roanoke County.
According to the Amber Alert, 6-year-old Cameron Allison, 6-year-old Emma Allison, and 21-month-old Colin Allison were last seen at 5153 North Lakes Drive in Roanoke County.
Virginia State Police say the abduction took place around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. It is not known what they were last wearing.

The children are believed to have been abducted by their parents — John Varion Allison and Ruby Marie Allison — and are believed to be in extreme danger, according to police. The department says the parents are facing three counts of abduction.
Police say Roanoke County Social Services was attempting to serve a Court ordered child removal for the children, but John Allison refused to share their location or allow CPS access to the children. After further investigation, it is now believed the parents may have taken the children outside of Virginia, according to the Roanoke County Police Department.Police say they may be traveling in either a 2006 maroon four-door Cadillac with Virginia tags VMN-8238 or in a 1999 maroon Chevrolet Suburban with Virginia tags VVU-3796.
Anyone with any information on their disappearance, contact Roanoke County Police Department at (540) 777-8799, or call Virginia State Police at (800) 822-4453.

Viola Higgins

I’m a mother of 2 little angels that I continuously try to figure out and spend the other half figuring out how to be a great wife. Writing is my passion and I write regularly for the Virginian Tribune and several other national news outlets.

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