Two charged in connection with Franklin County missing juveniles

The juveniles were found in the area of Thaxton Road in Pulaski, authorities said

Melissa Trainer and Thomas Hunter charged in connection with Franklin County missing juveniles (Credit: New River Valley Regional Jail) (WSLS)

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Two have been charged in connection with two missing juveniles out of Franklin County, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office began working on information concerning the whereabouts of the two runaway juveniles.

Authorities said information was shared by multiple agencies, leading investigators to the Snowville area of Pulaski County, where the biological mother of one of the juveniles was staying with a man.

Information obtained from that location led investigators to a residence on Thaxton Road where the juveniles were found, according to deputies.

The sheriff’s office said during the investigation, it was learned that the juveniles were not free to leave due to the actions of Thomas Hunter, who resided at the location.

Melissa Trainer, 47, of Pulaski was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and obstruction of justice.

Thomas Hunter, 57, of Pulaski was arrested and charged with two counts of abduction.

Both Trainer and Hunter are being held at the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.

The sheriff’s office says the incident is still under investigation and additional charges are forthcoming pending the outcome of the investigation.

Authorities initially said the man’s name was Thomas Morris, which has since been corrected by the sheriff’s office and in the text above.

About the Authors:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.