Local News

Harnett Officials: Father Accused Of Abducting Children Arrested

Posted May 4, 2004 8:30 a.m. EDT

— A man authorities say abducted his two children in Harnett County is under arrest in New York.

Members of the fugitive unit of the New York Police Department located and arrested Henry Diggs, 43, around 3 a.m. Monday.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office says Diggs boarded a bus Sunday with his children, Antonio, 4, and Caramel, 6.

The children were located unharmed and were taken to a hospital for examination. They were expected to fly to Raleigh-Durham International Airport Tuesday escorted by a social worker from the California Division of Social Services.

The children will get the chance to meet with their biological mother for the first time in three years upon their return.

The Sheriff's Office says Diggs has an extensive criminal history -- including an arrest in California, where his children were removed from his custody.

Diggs has been accused of abusing the children in the past, officials said.

A California court earlier had placed Diggs' children in the home of his sister, Alice Walker, of Linden.

Walker was arrested Sunday night and charged with filing a false report and aiding and abetting a kidnapping, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"Some of the reports we have we know has been ficticious," Sheriff Larry Rollins said. "It hasn't been truthful told to us. That's complicated our jobs tremendously."

Sheriff's officials say Walker allowed Diggs to take the children Thursday, a day before she reported the alleged kidnapping.

The children's mother told WRAL she was supposed to visit with them on Friday, when they were reported missing. She says she and Diggs were not married. The woman said she recently told Diggs she became engaged to someone else-- which she believess triggered the kidnapping.

Deputies say Diggs was spotted in Raleigh before boarding a bus Sunday-- at least once at a hotel and once at a church where he asked for money.