Man charged with Huntington kidnapping was former school superintendent

Man arrested in connection with abduction of two children
Man arrested in connection with abduction of two children(Huntington Police Department)
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:16 PM EDT
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UPDATE 8/30/22 @ 6:30 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - WSAZ is learning new information about William J. Morrison III, who was arrested and charged with kidnapping after Huntington Police say he lured two kids into his car on Aug. 17 in West Huntington.

According to court documents WSAZ obtained, it was found Morrison was the former superintendent of Hamilton Local Schools in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

In the fall of 2017, Morrison was placed on administrative leave from the school district after Columbus Police say he was arrested on drug charges. He was later released from his contract.

Police say crack cocaine was found in his car.

Morrison plead guilty in a Franklin County drug court in October 2017 and received probation and a four-day jail sentence in a plea deal.


A man has been arrested in connection with an abduction case involving two children last week in Huntington, according to city police.

William J. Morrison III, 59, of Huntington, was arrested Thursday night from his home in the 1100 block of 13th Street, the Huntington Police Department said. He is charged with two counts of kidnapping.

“It every concerning especially now that we’re back to school and what can happen to young people,” said Huntington Police Chief Karl Colder.

The incident started Aug. 17 in West Huntington.

Police say the suspect lured two kids into his SUV -- a 9-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl -- and drove away with them in the Subaru Forester. He offered the children $20 to babysit a child. According to the criminal complaint from Cabell County Magistrate Court, the suspect upped his offer to babysit to $100 when one of the children started to cry, saying they were afraid they were going to die.

“At this point in time we look at it as being random. There may be some past history with Mr. Morrison that we are aware of. We’re still combing through that information and trying to assess it,” Colder said.

Man wanted for luring, driving away with children
Man wanted for luring, driving away with children(Huntington Police Department)

Both children were ultimately able to get away uninjured. They didn’t know the man involved.

“It’s heroic, and it’s also luck because they were able to escape,” Colder said.

According to an HPD news release, detectives conducted two search warrants during the arrest -- one at Morrison’s home and another at an apartment in Barboursville.

Police say more charges are possible against Morrison.

Members of the Huntington Violent Crime/Drug Task Force and the Barboursville Police Department assisted the HPD Detective Bureau with Morrison’s arrest.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest.

For previous coverage:

Man wanted for luring, driving away with children