3 Roanoke County children at center of Amber Alert found safely; mother, father in custody

Mother taken into custody on I-95 in South Carolina


The search for three missing Roanoke County kids ended on Wednesday when Cameron, Emma and Colin Allison were all found safe.

Their mother, Ruby Allison, was arrested Wednesday in Florence, South Carolina along I-95 by South Carolina Highway Patrol, according to Roanoke police.

Authorities believed she took the kids to Florida, possibly to visit her husband John Allison’s parents who live in the Jacksonville area, but then law enforcement learned Ruby may be heading back on I-95 toward Virginia.

Troopers spotted the vehicle and made a traffic stop.

“The children have been turned over to South Carolina authorities who will coordinate with the Roanoke County Department of Social Services to get them safely returned,” Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said.

As of Wednesday evening, Ruby Allison was in jail in South Carolina pending extradition.

The kids will all be brought back to the Department of Social Services in Roanoke County.

At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, John, the kids’ father, turned himself in to authorities at his attorney’s office in Salem.

“It certainly highlights, when a successful resolution like this takes place, the hard work of our detectives our police officers and folks at all levels of government along the eastern coast of this country,” said Hall.

Court documents say John Allison was charged with child abuse and neglect in 2014 and and domestic assault and battery in 2019, but both charges were dropped.

The alleged abduction began, police say, after members of the Roanoke County Department of Social Services attempted to serve John with a court order Tuesday afternoon to take the kids away from he and Ruby.

Why the court order was issued was unknown Wednesday.

“It was kind of scary and shocking at first,” said Emma Silva, whose family lives on the same street as the Allisons, about seeing police activity at the Allisons’ house.

“It makes you think, 'How could this happen" Silva said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Authorities have found the 2006 Cadillac that it was believed Ruby Allison may have been driving.

It’s now believed she has her three children, Cameron, Emma and Colin, in a 1999 Maroon Chevrolet Suburban with Virginia tags VVU-3796.

The search for Roanoke County three kids at the center of an Amber Alert continues.

At about 10 a.m., John Allison turned himself in to authorities at his attorney’s office in Salem.

At this time, Cameron, Emma and Colin Allison, as well as their mother, Ruby, are still missing.

State police believe the three are in extreme danger.

Members of the Roanoke County Department of Social Services were attempting to take the children away from John and Ruby Tuesday afternoon, but no one was home.

When the parents were called, they would not cooperate, according to Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall.

Multiple law-enforcement agencies are now looking for Ruby and the three children both in Virginia and outside of the state.

Chief Hall did not provide more specifics about which places were being searched or explain why there was a court order to take the three children out of their home..

“The best thing that you can do is contact us or whatever local law-enforcement either agency is in the area where you presently are and get those children safely turned over to law-enforcement so that we can assure that they are in a safe environment and are not harmed,” said Hall.

Both John and Ruby Allison are charged with felony child abduction.

Authorities are searching for three children from Roanoke County after authorities say they were taken by two people believed to be their parents.

The children — 6-year-old Cameron Allison, 6-year-old Emma Allison and 21-month-old Colin Allison — are believed to be in extreme danger.


Authorities believe the children were abducted by John Allison. He is described as being 5′9″ and weighing 185 pounds with blonde hair and brown eyes. Police say he could be with his wife, Ruby. She is described as being 5′3″ and weighing 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

They could be in a 1999 Maroon Chevrolet Suburban SUV with Virginia registration of VVU-3796, or a 2006 Maroon Cadillac 4 door car bearing a Virginia Registration VMN-8238.

Possible abductor (Roanoke County Police)
May be in company of children (Roanoke County Police)

For further information contact the Roanoke County Police Department at 540-777-8798, 540-777-8799 or the Virginia State Police at #77.

For more information about this incident,contact the Roanoke County Police Department.

Call 911 with any information.

About the Authors:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.