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8-Year-Old S.C. Girl Fakes Illness in Ky. to Escape Abduction

8-Year-Old S.C. Girl Fakes Illness in Ky. to Escape Abduction
Donnie Lee Shelton (WYMT)

CORBIN, Ky. (CBS/WYMT) According to Kentucky State Police, an 8-year-old South Carolina girl kidnapped by her father faked an illness to prompt her rescue.

Police say 46-year-old Donnie Lee Shelton abducted his daughter Monday night following a custody dispute. Shelton didn't have custody of the girl, according to police, and an Amber Alert was issued in South Carolina.

Early Tuesday morning the two showed up at the emergency room of Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin, located north of the Tennessee border, after the girl told her father she was sick.

"She feigned abdominal pain so that her dad would bring her to the emergency room when she saw a hospital sign," John Henson of Baptist Regional Medical Center said, according to CBS affiliate WYMT.

Hospital staff say a nurse there became suspicious when the girl wouldn't make eye contact with her. The nurse then checked the Amber Alert website, and called police.

In an interview from the Whitley County Jail, Shelton said he has a right to be with his daughter.

"I felt like my child was in danger," Shelton said.

The girl was turned over to the custody of her mother, and the pair returned to South Carolina Tuesday afternoon.