GILES COUNTY, Va. -- The woman accused of abducting 2-year-old Noah Trout from a Virginia church nursery apparently picked the child at random and also cased at least two other area churches the morning of the crime, Giles County investigators said Wednesday.
The boy was found unharmed at 44-year-old Nancy Renee Fridley's trailer in a Clifton Forge mobile home park around 70 miles from the Ripplemead church where he had been snatched from just over 24 hours before.
Fridley was later charged with single counts of of abduction and felony child endangerment. Her boyfriend, Bobby Lee Taylor, was also arrested and charged with one count of abduction.
Noah was "chosen at random" as there is "no credible connection between Noah or any of Noah’s family members" and the suspect, deputies revealed Wednesday.
"There is no indication at this point that Fridley intended to transfer Noah to anyone in particular," officials said.
Deputies said Fridley visited New Valley Fellowship Church and Mountain View Ministries in Narrows earlier the morning of the abduction. That is about 10 minutes away from Riverview Baptist Church in Ripplemead where Noah was abducted around noon Sunday, May 2.
Additionally, investigators said Fridley was in the area of those two churches a month before the abduction.
"We have evidence, through our collaboration with other agencies and jurisdictions, that Fridley may have been casing other places outside of Giles County to commit similar acts," deputies said Wednesday. "We think there are other potential witnesses out there who could and should come forward."
Investigators urged anyone who came in contact with Fridley or saw her charcoal-colored, 2007 Chevy Trailblazer, which officials said she was driving when she abducted Noah, to contact police.
That SUV has a “BOOBER” sticker at the top of its windshield. Boober offers breastfeeding tips and other information for "expectant parents and new families, according to its website.
Giles County Sheriff Morgan Millirons said during a news conference about the AMBER Alert Monday afternoon that a person of interest was identified and law enforcement set up or parameter around the Chestnut Village mobile home around noon Monday.
"Shortly therefore, FBI agents and a tactical unit from the Virginia State Police saw a child matching Noah's description in the area of the home," Millirons said.
Noah was rescued at 1:25 p.m. and "seemed fine" after the ordeal, but was checked over at the scene by EMS crews and taken to an area hospital "for further observation," according to the sheriff.
"Noah was subsequently medically cleared and released to his family," officials said.
"We have been unable to determine a motive for Noah's abduction," Millirons said. “I know the community wants answers. Please be mindful, even though Noah has been safely recovered, the investigation is still ongoing. And we need to be careful of information that is released, so we do not jeopardize the prosecution of this case."
Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Richmond Field Office, said "the car team" and member of the behavioral analysis unit "was deployed within a few hours and began complementing our on the ground investigative efforts."
Meador credited law enforcement's collaboration as well as tips from the public in bringing Noah home.
"Thank you to all of you who provided tips and helped us keep this case front and center because of you know, it gets to rest peacefully this evening under the watchful eye of his parents," Meador said.
Boy abducted from church nursery
State police Sunday night that Noah was "believed to be in extreme danger" and was last seen at Big Stony Creek Road in Ripplemead, Virginia.
"Noah was taken from the nursery at Riverview Baptist Church in Ripplemead by an unidentified female," officials with the
Giles County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies released a photo showing a woman wearing a blue jacket, blue jeans, black tennis shoes and a black beanie leaving the nursery with Noah, who was wearing an orange jacket.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Giles County Sheriff’s Office at 540-921-3842 or 911.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.