COTTAGE GROVE — A Cottage Grove man was taken into custody after allegedly abducting his two young daughters and assaulting their mother early Friday.
An Amber Alert was issued, and Jeffrey Lo was located in a wooded area in Cottage Grove by a police dog around 10:30 a.m.
He had the girls with him but surrendered without incident, Cottage Grove Director of Public Safety Peter Koerner said.
The mother has been reunited with her daughters, 1 and 3 years old, at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury. Koerner said the girls appeared to be fine.
Lo is being held at the Cottage Grove Police Department pending his transport to the Washington County Jail. Charges are expected to be filed in the next few days, Koerner said. He said the woman filed a restraining order against Lo.
Earlier reports said Lo was armed, but police found no weapon, Koerner said.
He thanked members of the public for providing tips on social media in response to the Amber Alert.
“I don’t think we could have had a better outcome,” he said.
The abduction, which happened around 6:30 a.m., sparked a four-hour manhunt that involved 14 law-enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals, FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The attack occurred after the woman had strapped her daughters into her tan 2004 Toyota Sierra minivan, Koerner said.
Lo was hiding in the rear of the vehicle. Once the woman pulled out of her driveway, he allegedly lunged forward and began assaulting her. She managed to escape the van, which Lo then drove away. A female motorist stopped to help her and called 911.
The female motorist and the girl’s mother attempted to follow the minivan but never saw it again, Koerner said.