FBI Investigators both here and in Houston, Texas are praising the public and the hard working police agencies on the coast for the safe return of 22-month old Emily Ellen Propps. You'll remember Emily was kidnapped from the Gulf Islands National Seashore Tuesday evening. FBI officials and Ocean Springs Police are crediting tips from the public for actually solving this case.
It seems a truck driver from Gulfport who had heard about the kidnapping was traveling through Texas and spotted the suspects and the little girl at a truck stop in Harris County, just east of Houston. He called the tip in to authorities and within hours, around 5:30 Friday evening, the suspects were taken into custody without incident and little Emily was found safe. Matteo Valles is heading up local FBI efforts and told WLOX that initial reports from Houston are that there aren't any obvious signs of abuse and that the 22-month old child is safe.
As for the suspects, Brian and Ulanda McCulley, they are in custody and being questioned by the FBI in Houston and will remain in the Harris County Detention Facility. They're being charged with kidnapping in Mississippi. So far, only state charges have been filed and further federal charges could also be filed.
Both Matteo Valles and Captain Louie Miller of the Ocean Springs Police Department say the girl's safe return is due to the information they had early in this case. The suspects were found in the same car they were using here on the coast and no word yet on why they took the girl.