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Photo courtesy The Mountain Messenger

DOWNIEVILLE, Calif. October 25, 2016 – At approximately 3 :00 PM today, a plainclothes CHP investigator was in Downieville, CA as part of an ongoing search effort for the subjects of a recent Amber Alert for an abducted child: Henry Massey, a 7-month-old male baby, and his suspected abductor, Hannah Ashley. The CHP officer was on foot when he observed a female matching Ashley’s description walking along a roadway carrying a travel bag in her hand. As the CHP officer approached her, he could hear a baby crying from within the bag. He identified himself and Ashley fled the opposite direction.

Photo courtesy The Mountain Messenger

However, the officer overtook her after a short distance and a struggled ensued. During the struggle, additional CHP officers responded as backup and were able to wrestle the bag (with baby still inside) away from Ashley. Ashley was then placed into custody on an outstanding warrant from Sonoma County. Baby Massey was placed in protective custody with CHP officers.

Ashley and Baby Massey were evaluated at the scene by medical personnel and were then transported to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital for more in-depth medical evaluation. Both were found to be in good health. Ashley will be booked into the Nevada County main jail (Wayne Brown Correctional Facility) and will be extradited to Sonoma County on the warrant. Baby Massey will be turned over to Child Protective Services.

Additional Background:

On Monday evening, 10/24/2016, a resident in the area had spotted what they believed to be the subject vehicle from the Amber Alert, a silver Subaru, driving northbound on SR-49 north of Nevada City. Due to poor cellular reception in the area, communication was difficult and intermittent. The subject vehicle was ultimately lost by the resident. However, based on the license plate they provided, it seemed likely this was the subject vehicle: Personnel from the CHP, Grass Valley Area responded along with sheriffs deputies from the Sierra County Sheriffs Department and the Yuba County Sheriffs Department. A search was conducted throughout the night but the vehicle was not located. Due to inclement weather, attempts to search with CHP aircraft were hampered.

At approximately 6:45 AM Tuesday morning, deputies with the Sierra County Sheriffs Department, who were still assisting in the active search, spotted the Subaru and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver fled on SR-49 toward Downieville and a pursuit ensued. The driver fled recklessly at high speeds. The deputies lost sight of the vehicle in the Downieville area. However, a short time later they located the vehicle, abandoned, on the outskirts of Downieville. An extensive search was conducted throughout the day until the suspect was located as detailed above.

The Sierra County Sheriff’s Department will be forwarding their investigation of the pursuit to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department for their possible inclusion of additional charges, as appropriate.