Local News

Amber Alert issued for two missing children

Posted January 1, 2009

— Authorities are looking for a man they say killed his ex-wife and two others before taking off with his two young children early Thursday.

Richard Doughlas Heatwole, 45, is described as a white male, about 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Authorities consider Heatwole armed and dangerous. He is on probation for drug possession in Pinellas County, Fla., records show.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued Thursday for Heatwole's two children. 

Hayes Heatwole, 6, is described at a white male, about 3-foot-8 and 45 pounds. He has long, blond shaggy hair and blue eyes.

Haley Heatwole, 10, is described as a white female, about 4-foot-8 and 62 pounds. She has brown shoulder-length hair and hazel eyes. She has a scar on her forehead that extends to the bridge of her nose.

Officials believe he and the children may be traveling to St. Petersburg, Fla., where Heatwole has family. They may be in a white 1986 Toyota truck with an extended cab with a white camper cover. The truck may also have gold stripes and rusted fender wells. The vehicle has North Carolina license tag number YNS-8257.

Officials believe Heatwole took the children from a Candler residence where two bodies were found.

Buncombe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Ross Dillingham said deputies went to a home on Old 19-23 in Candler looking for the children’s mother Angela Heatwole after a family member reported her missing around 3 a.m. Thursday. Her car was parked outside the residence when deputies arrived around noon, but no one answered the door.

"Based on the victim's vehicle being outside, they made entrance," Dillingham said.

Dillingham said once inside, deputies found Angela Heatwole and another person dead. The second victim isn't being identified until relatives are notified, Dillingham said.

Through their investigation, officials found another person dead in a nearby home. Dillingham said that person also is not being named until relatives are notified.

Dillingham said Richard Heatwole is presently the only suspect in the slayings.

"We're not going to stop until we've found these children," Dillingham said. "We're going work on this throughout the evening, and through the weekend.”

If you have any information regarding this abduction, call the Buncombe County Sheriff`s Office immediately at 828-250-6670, or call 911 or *HP.


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  • ShareTheRoad Jan 1, 2009

    me and my mom were just having that same conversation. i figured it was mom/boyfriend and neighbor who saw the whole deal go down. yikes. i hope they find him and the kids before he harms them.

  • TeresaBee Jan 1, 2009

    My husband and I think that the father cam to the childrens mothers home and killed the mother and her new boyfriend then went and killed Grannie. We think this because it happens so often. I write this before any updates on the story.

  • ShareTheRoad Jan 1, 2009

    Admiral....i usually would agree with you, but did you miss the part where they said the kids are suspected to have come from a home where two dead people were found?

    this doesnt sound like the typical domestic-dispute-turns-into-amber-alert story.

  • kittiboo Jan 1, 2009

    This is a scary one, and it seems to me one of the ones that the Amber alert is meant for (in the worst way). I hope they capture him and find the kids safe.

  • Mom of two Jan 1, 2009

    May God bless those children. I pray too that they are unharmed!!!

  • TheAdmiral Jan 1, 2009

    My wife and I just said the same thing.

    "Honey - it's my weekend and I am going to my parents - I should have them back Monday in time for school."

    "Ok. No problem."

    Then on the way to grannies house for a belated Christmas they get in a fight on the phone and the mother files a false police report.

    I wonder when we will get rid of these alerts. So far to date it has been abused more than it has done anything else.

    Next step is a flesh color alert for Child Molesters.

    We have SILVER alerts for 18 and 22 year olds.

    Good idea, but unfortunately by the time they issue the alert the children are already dead or on their way out of state.

    Sorry folks - I am a realist.

  • something2say Jan 1, 2009

    I pray these kids are found safe and unharmed. It sounds like this guy may have gone insane!