FROM STAFF REPORTS
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — Police announced that a Horseshoe Bay girl missing since August has been found “safe and sound.”
According to the Horseshoe Bay Police Department, 8-year-old Margo Murdock is in the care of the Albemarle County (Virginia) Department of Social Services as Horseshoe Bay investigators work to get her returned to Texas. Virginia authorities located the child Jan. 7 at a Charlottesville residence.
“The entire investigative division has committed many hours and days of investigative follow-up on a variety of leads they developed during the course of this case,” Horseshoe Bay Police Chief Rocky Wardlow said. “Their drive and determination to find and return the child has been nothing less than remarkable.”
The child’s grandmother, Sandy Hayes, who has custodial care of the youth, reported her missing Aug. 17, 2015. Investigators believed 28-year-old Sonja Murdock, the child’s mother, had taken off with her.
Horseshoe Bay investigators continued working the case and following up on information until they narrowed their search to the Charlottesville, Virginia, area in November. The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office began assisting the Horseshoe Bay investigation with the information the Texas officials provided. Horseshoe Bay investigators learned Sonja Murdock was living at a Charlottesville residence under an assumed name. Along with leaving with her child, authorities in Texas wanted the woman on a revocation of probation warrant stemming from a previous aggravated robbery charge committed at the Marble Falls Chili’s restaurant in 2012.
Just after 6 p.m. Jan. 7, Charlottesville Police Department and ACSO investigators positively identified Sonja Murdock at the Virginia residence and took her into custody.
The woman told officers that Margo was at a friend’s house. The authorities contacted the person, who then brought the youth to the Charlottesville Police Department at about 8 p.m.
Horseshoe Bay police said Texas and Virginia authorities are still investigating the case to determine if Sonja Murdock or others faces additional charges.
Margo Murdock’s return is pending court proceedings in both states.
Sonja Murdock is in the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional County Jail being held on the Burnet County warrant.