VALDOSTA, GA (WLOX - Authorities in Valdosta, GA, foiled a kidnapping Friday afternoon, and this story has a link to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The two men accused of kidnapping the 5-year-old girl are from Biloxi.
Officials with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said 33-year-old Michael Ray McCormick and 36-year-old Davis Scott Stapp flew into the Valdosta Regional Airport on a private airplane from Ocean Springs and rented a vehicle.
Authorities say McCormick and Stapp snatched the 5-year-old from the playground at Westside Elementary School around 2:15 p.m.
A teacher ran over to grab the girl, but deputies say the men pushed the teacher down and then left the school grounds with the child. The teacher was able to get a description of the getaway car and immediately notified the school resource officer and the sheriff's department.
About 10 minutes later, a deputy on Madison Highway spotted the vehicle near the airport. Several deputies stopped the vehicle, safely removed the child and took McCormick and Stapp into custody.
Lt. Stryde Jones said investigators determined McCormick is the non-custodial parent of the child. The girl has been reunited with her mother.
McCormick is charged with kidnapping, simple battery on a school official and disruption of a school. Stapp was charged as a party to the crime on each of those charges.
A bond hearing has been set for McCormick and Stapp, but a specific date has not been given.