Suspect in Marion abduction is caught

Frederick Fretz Jr., 42, center, is escorted Sunday to a patrol car waiting to take him to the Bartow County Jail by Cpl. P.A. Little of the Cartersville Police Department, right, and Deputy Scotty Bank of the Bartow County Sheriff's Office, in Cartersville, Ga.

BRUCE ACKERMAN/Ocala Star-Banner
Published: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 1:57 a.m.
CARTERSVILLE - A convicted sex offender wanted for kidnapping an 11-year-old boy from his school in Florida was arrested Sunday in Cartersville, two days after the boy was found safe.
Frederick Fretz, 42, was apparently hitchhiking along Main Street near Interstate 75, authorities said. Police say Fretz picked up the boy Tuesday at Dunnellon Elementary School in Dunnellon and headed north.
Emerson Police Sgt. Mike Powell said a person phoned police Sunday afternoon with a tip Fretz appeared to be hitchhiking on the side of the road. Fretz was arrested without incident about 2:30 p.m. and was being held in the Bartow County Jail, Powell said.
Fretz's drive with the boy ended when his car stalled on an exit ramp off Interstate 75, just north of Atlanta. The discovery of the abandoned car Friday triggered the search for the 11-year-old, which ended less than 12 hours later. Emerson police received a call that day when Fretz and the boy went to a store to buy a gallon of water and some candy, Powell said.
The boy was found about two miles from the car, and ran toward police as Fretz fled into the woods.
Fretz was being held on two Florida warrants: one for violation of probation and another for failure to register as sex offender, a felony, Marion County, Fla., Sheriff's Capt. Dennis Strow said. There was also a federal warrant issued for kidnapping.
It will take at least a couple of days to bring Fretz back to Florida, Strow said. If he is brought back on the federal warrant, U.S. Marshals would bring him back.
Strow said decisions about extradition and how to continue with additional charges were still being decided.
''That's all being discussed right now,'' he said.

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