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Mother hopes for safe return
Alleged abductor has criminal record
Melinda Poole - photo by Photo provided.

A Richmond Hill teen remained missing Tuesday, days after she was reportedly caught on video being forced into a vehicle by an ex-boyfriend.

Melinda Poole, 19, has been missing since Saturday and police are asking the public for help in locating her.

Richmond Hill Police Department Detective Dana Strickland said 25-year-old James Randall Myers, Poole’s ex-boyfriend, can be seen on security video appearing to force Poole into his black Chevy Tahoe from the Richmond Hill Days Inn, where she was reportedly staying at the time.

Myers has a criminal record, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website. He was arrested in Bryan County in 2001 for aggravated assault and did five years in Calhoun State Prison for a long list of charges throughout the Coastal Empire, including armed robbery and burglary. He got out in January 2007.

Poole’s mother, Cissy Merrit, holds out hope her daughter will be safe.

"He’s always been possessive of her and we just fear the worst right now," Merritt said.

Merritt said Myers has not previously assaulted her daughter that she knows of.

The search for Poole stemmed from a Saturday morning phone call to RHPD from St. Joseph’s Hospital, where Richmond Hill resident Nehemiah Scriven was admitted for treatment following an alleged altercation with Myers.

Scriven reportedly told authorities Myers came to room 104 at the hotel, where he and Poole were at and assaulted him before abducting her.

Strickland said Scriven was beaten so badly that he was rendered unconscious. Scriven reportedly said he woke up to find Poole gone, her belongings still in the room and the hotel door open. Strickland said hotel surveillance video shows the rest of the story.

Strickland said phone records indicate that Poole had been calling Myers throughout the night and alleges she told him of her whereabouts.

"From all accounts, Myers was out partying as well," Strickland said. "We’re worried about his state of mind because it could have set him off walking in and catching her with another guy. There are many aspects of this case, but we’ll sort out the details of this investigation once we find Melinda and bring her home safely. That is our top priority right now."

Police say Poole had recently moved in with her boyfriend in Georgetown, but is a Richmond Hill native. Myers is as well and the two attended Richmond Hill High School together.

"We just want her to know that we love her and we want her home," Merritt said. "If there is anyone that has any information where she might be or if they see her, please call the police."

Poole is 5’5" tall and weighs approximately 130 pounds. The Tahoe has a Georgia tag with the number 7087QH. Strickland said the incident took place about 6 a.m. Saturday and urges anyone with any information to call him or Det. Mike Albritton at 756-5645.

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