Elementary principal confident school kidnapping won't happen ag - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Elementary principal confident school kidnapping won't happen again

33-year-old Michael Ray McCormick and 36-year-old David Scott Stapp, both of Biloxi, MS, were arrested. 33-year-old Michael Ray McCormick and 36-year-old David Scott Stapp, both of Biloxi, MS, were arrested.
The kidnapping happened Friday afternoon outside at Westside Elementary School. The kidnapping happened Friday afternoon outside at Westside Elementary School.
Investigators said the plane the two men flew in was a Piper PA-46, similar to the one in this photo. (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Juergen Lehle) Investigators said the plane the two men flew in was a Piper PA-46, similar to the one in this photo. (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Juergen Lehle)
Flight data revealed the plane departed from Trent Lott International Airport and arrived at Valdosta Regional Airport the day before the kidnapping. (Source: FlightAware.com) Flight data revealed the plane departed from Trent Lott International Airport and arrived at Valdosta Regional Airport the day before the kidnapping. (Source: FlightAware.com)
Principal Suzanne Tanner noted that the school is willing to consider making changes to the fence in an effort to prevent future problems. Principal Suzanne Tanner noted that the school is willing to consider making changes to the fence in an effort to prevent future problems.
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The principal of an elementary school where a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped said she is confident it won't happen again.

The kidnapping happened Friday afternoon at Westside Elementary School.

According to a report, two men walked onto the school property and snatched the 5-year-old.

Officials later revealed that one of the men was the child's non-custodial father, who assaulted a teacher in order to get away.

MORE: Men planned flights, car rentals in young girl's kidnapping

The school's principal Suzanne Tanner said it recently had new fencing installed over the summer in order to help keep students safe, but it wasn't designed to keep people out.

"We asked for fencing this summer so that children would not run into the bus driveway," Tanner explained.

But she noted that the school is willing to consider making changes to the fence in an effort to prevent future problems.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said the child's father, Michael McCormick, and his friend David Stapp flew a plane from Pascagoula, Mississippi to Valdosta Thursday night. They rented a car and kidnapped the girl Friday afternoon, and were trying to get back to the airport to fly back to Mississippi when they were caught.

Officials also revealed that McCormick and the girl's biological mother were going through a divorce.

Detectives said they did not know how long the two men might have planned the kidnapping.

"Obviously, this is not something that they thought of last moment," said Lt. Stryde Jones with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. "From our investigation, I think we're gonna be able to show that there was some planning although the depth of that planning we're still determining."

Jones also said that both men have since hired attorneys and chosen not to talk to investigators.

Copyright 2015 WALB.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly