Hancock police help capture couple in abduction case

February 23, 2012|By DAN DEARTH and DAVE McMILLION |

Hancock police officers Wednesday evening played a major role in helping capture two people who were wanted in connection with a Tennessee child-abduction case.

Officer Rich Miller waited on Interstate 68, while Sgt. Shawn Tasker waited on Interstate 70 after they received a call that the suspects were heading east in a van with two abducted children, according to town Police Chief Timothy Buskirk.

Miller saw the van at 7:42 p.m. on I-68 and followed it onto I-70, where Tasker joined the pursuit, Buskirk said.

They pulled the vehicle over a short time later near the three-mile marker and waited for backup from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police.


“I’m glad we could get the kids back safely, and where they belong,” said Buskirk, noting that the fugitives peacefully surrendered. “It was a really good job by the officers involved. It was a team effort.”

Buskirk said an off-duty Hagerstown police officer who was passing through the area also assisted at the scene.

Local authorities received an Amber Alert at about 7:22 p.m. that the children’s parents had abducted them from their grandparents in Tennessee.

The alert said the children — two girls, ages 3 and 4 — were taken from their parents, Jeremy Knasel, 32, and Ashley Norberg, 24, both of Spencer, Tenn., because they were manufacturing methamphetamine in a house while the children were present.

Police said the children appeared to be in good shape and were turned over to local child-protective service workers.

Knasel and Norberg were taken to the Washington County Detention Center.

On Thursday, they waived extradition via closed-circuit TV before Washington County District Court Judge Mark D. Thomas and will be returned to Tennessee.

Authorities said FBI agents were involved in the search for the children.

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