Missing Pitt County teen found safe; 55-year-old Snow Hill man arrested in Tennessee for abduction

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office has found a teenager that was reported missing on Saturday, Dec. 3.

In addition, deputies say they have charged a man in her disappearance.

Hailey Rypkema, 17, was last seen the night of Friday, Dec. 2, according to the sheriff’s office, which also says Rypkema was entered into a national database as a missing person before deputies got the report that she was missing.

At about 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, deputies say officers in eastern Tennessee ran a license plate on a vehicle owned by 55-year-old James Holloman, of Snow Hill, who was wanted as a suspect in Rypkema’s disappearance.

WITN is told that Holloman was arrested and Rypkema was found safe inside the vehicle.

Deputies say Holloman was charged with two counts of felony abduction of children and two counts of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Holloman is in custody in Tennessee on the Pitt County warrants as well as crimes within the Pigeon Forge Police Department’s jurisdiction.

Holloman is awaiting extradition back to Pitt County.

The sheriff’s office says deputies believed Rypkema was with Holloman because of a previous case, when on Nov. 28, a 14-year-old girl was reported missing.

“However, when she returned home the following day, she provided no information to deputies surrounding her leaving home,” deputies said.

Deputies said they were able to confirm that on Nov. 28, both the 14-year-old and 17-year-old were with Holloman.

The PCSO said before noon on Wednesday that Rypkema’s parents were headed to reunite with their daughter.

The case remains under active investigation. More charges are expected.