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Georgia Man Jailed in Williamson County for Parental Kidnapping

MARION – Marion Police say an arrest was made in a parental kidnapping case that took place Christmas Eve afternoon.

Police responded to the Pilot Travel Center on West DeYoung Street at 4 p.m. to investigate the report of a parental abduction.  

When police arrived they met with the mother of the children, Tiffany Lawrence of Rocky Face, GA and the children’s grandmother, Crystal Scott, also of Rocky Face, GA.

Lawrence told police that she and the father of her three children, 27-year-old Brandon Lonas of La Fayette, GA, had mutually agreed to meet in Marion to complete a “custody swap” of the children for Christmas. Lonas had currently been in Nebraska with the children and he and Lawrence decided Marion would be about the halfway point to conduct their child swap. 

During the visit, an argument ensued between Lawrence and Lonas, and Lonas took the two older children, ages 2 and 1, and drove away in his vehicle. Lawrence and Lonas are not married and do not have a court ordered custody agreement.  Lawrence told police that as Lonas began to drive off, he stated that he would not go back to jail and will commit suicide in the vehicle with the children with him. 

Marion Police Dispatch personnel issued an “attempt to locate” and an “Amber Alert” on Lonas, the children and the vehicle. A short time later, police were notified that Lonas had been stopped by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department on I-57 near Mt. Vernon. 

Lonas was taken into custody and the children were found unharmed and returned to Lawrence. 

Lonas was taken to the Williamson County Jail where he is being held pending initial court appearance.