Arrest made in Upshur abduction

An Upshur County man is facing two counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian after his apprehension Wednesday morning following an all-night search that began when he allegedly abducted two family members.

Margel Tenney, 57, is being held in the Central Regional Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. He was taken into custody along Interstate 79 near Jane Lew around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday by the West Virginia State Police. He made his initial appearance in Lewis County Magistrate Court before senior status Magistrate Frances Davis, a retired Doddridge County magistrate who was handling matters while the Lewis County magistrates attended a training conference.

The search for Tenney began Tuesday evening when the State Police issued an Amber Alert after allegations arose that Tenney had abducted his 16-year-old stepdaughter Shaina Tenney and her 7-month-old daughter Grace Hope Tenney. The group left the Rock Cave area and is alleged to have traveled in a 1999 Dodge truck to Webster County to get James Tenney. The group later abandoned the truck at a gas station in the Belington area around 6:30 p.m., switching to a 2003 Ford Focus and reportedly headed to Texas.

A State Police dispatch stated that Margel Tenney was the subject of a sexual abuse investigation. While investigators were interviewing another family member at the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, Margel Tenney allegedly left the building and drove to his southern Upshur County residence where he is alleged to have abducted the two girls.

The Ford Focus was seen traveling south on Interstate 79 Wednesday morning by a state trooper, who called for back-up units. The two girls were reported to be “fine,” according to the State Police.

More charges could be filed against Margel Tenney. Upshur County Magistrate Court officials said a preliminary hearing will be scheduled for Margel Tenney once they receive the paperwork from neighboring Lewis County.