Two men are in custody for allegedly kidnapping a 5-year-old boy in the Eastern UP.
The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to an address in Whitefish Township Wednesday evening around 7:15 on a report of a domestic dispute involving a stabbing. When they arrived, authorities learned that the two men took the boy from the home and fled the scene northbound toward Whitefish Point light house.
Prior to taking the child, one of the men had bound and gagged a woman and left her in a vehicle parked outside the home. The men then gained entry to the house where another man and four children were inside.
The suspects were armed with knives, a chemical spray and blunt objects. The occupants were sprayed with the chemical and zip tied, while having their mouths duct taped shut.
The two men then began to look for the 5-year-old boy located in the house. While they searched, one of the family members was able to cut themselves loose from the zip ties and stabbed at least one of the suspects.
Having located the 5-year-old, the two men, one of which is the biological father, left the scene in a camouflage pickup. Law Enforcement Officers began to look for the suspects’ vehicle, eventually finding it parked in a driveway about 5 miles north. The two suspects had left the truck with the child and were on foot heading east across Lake Superior towards Canada.
Officers began tracking the suspects while on snowmobiles as they fled on foot through the snow and slush and caught up to them about two miles east of the shoreline. The suspects were taken into custody without incident and the child was safely secured. All parties involved were checked for exposure when they arrived back at the mainland.
The first suspect was identified as 53-year-old George Stephen Cunningham. He is also identified as a registered sex offender and was currently on tether, but he cut his tether shortly after the incident.
The second suspect was identified as 68-year-old Jon Scott Stygler.
Both suspects were lodged at the Chippewa County Sheriff Office on a host of charges including but not limited to kidnapping, assault, home invasion, and child endangerment.
The investigation continues and additional chargers may be added.