Bond denied for man who led police on 10-day manhunt

Bruce Lynch, 35, the man who led authorities on a 10-day manhunt in October, was denied bond in Louisa Circuit Court on eight sex offense charges.

Judge John Cullen ruled on Dec. 27 that Lynch should stay in jail after hearing from Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire, who said Lynch had displayed “a level of sophistication we don’t often see. This was well planned.”

Lynch bought “untraceable” cell phones and used Snapchat messages to mislead authorities into thinking he planned to flee the state, McGuire said.

As many as 100 police officers and FBI agents were involved in the search for Lynch and the child he was with from Oct. 20 until they were stopped in Caroline County in Oct. 30. Most of the manhunt took place in a small area of Hanover County near Montpelier.

Lynch’s mother, Lisa Harper, testified at the bond hearing that she and her fiancé would ensure her son stayed in the area if he were released. McGuire observed that Lynch was driving his mother’s car when he took the child on Oct. 20 and questioned why it took Harper and her fiancé “hours” to call the police after he briefly appeared at their house.

Lynch was initially charged with abduction in Louisa Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The charge was later dropped. McGuire filed a direct indictment against Lynch in circuit court on Nov. 4 on four counts of carnal knowledge of a minor and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

Lynch’s arraignment on the eight charges is set for Feb. 6.  

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