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Hancock police help capture couple in abduction case

February 23, 2012|By DAN DEARTH and DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

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.

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“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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