Authorities: Amber Alert suspects tied up 6 before taking boy


WHITEFISH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators say two men in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula tied up six people before kidnapping a 5-year-old boy, sparking a statewide Amber Alert late Wednesday night.

George Cunningham, 53, and 68-year-old Jon Scott Stygler were taken into custody early Thursday morning after investigators found them on the ice of Lake Superior with Cunningham’s 5-year-old son.

Chippewa County deputies say they were alerted to the crime around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday when they took a call of a domestic dispute involving a stabbing at a home on North Whitefish Point Road in Whitefish Township, near Whitefish Bay.

Deputies discovered the suspects had bound and gagged a woman they found outside the home and loaded her into a vehicle parked in the driveway. Armed with knives, chemical spray and blunt objects, the men then got into the home, sprayed a man and four children and tied them up and duct-taped their mouths, investigators say. As the men searched the house for the Cunningham’s son, one of the victims cut themselves loose from the zip ties  and stabbed at least one of the suspects, deputies say.

But deputies say Cunningham and Stygler still found the boy and got away in a camouflage pickup truck.

Officers eventually found the pickup truck 5 miles away, but the suspects and boy were gone. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officers and deputies on snowmobiles discovered the trio about 2 miles east of the Lake Superior shoreline, making their way towards Canada.

They were all checked for exposure and taken back to land. Investigators said the child is safe, but did not elaborate on his condition.

The suspects remain in custody on long list of charges, including kidnapping, assault, home invasion and child endangerment.

Cunningham is a registered sex offender with a 2015 conviction for gross sexual imposition with a victim under the age of 13 out of Ohio. The sheriff’s office says Cunningham cut his electronic tether before the crimes.

**Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated the three were found 52 miles out on the ice. They were 2 miles out. We apologize for the typo.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!