updated 1/23/2005 8:10:10 PM ET 2005-01-24T01:10:10

A convicted sex offender wanted for kidnapping an 11-year-old boy has been arrested in Georgia, two days after the child was found safe.

Authorities say they found 42-year-old Frederick Fretz on Sunday after someone called police and said that Fretz appeared to be hitchhiking near the side of a road.

Police say Fretz picked up the boy on Tuesday from his school in Florida. The boy was found Friday after Fretz’s car stalled on an exit ramp just north of Atlanta.

Two warrants have been issued for Fretz in Marion County, Fla. — one for violation of probation and another for failure to register as a sex offender.

A federal warrant also has been issued for kidnapping.

Fretz, who had been living with the boy and his father, picked up the boy at a Dunnellon, Fla., Elementary School on Tuesday, police said. Their drive north ended when their car stalled on an exit ramp off Interstate 75 north of Atlanta.

The discovery of the car Friday morning triggered the search for the two. Emerson police received a call when Fretz and the boy went to a store to buy a gallon of water and some candy, Powell said.

Suspect fled into woods
The boy was found less than 12 hours later, about two miles from the car, and ran toward police as Fretz fled into the woods, police said.

The boy had been living with his father until his mother could get a home of her own. The father said investigators tried to get him to say he was part of a plan to kidnap his son so he could have custody of the boy.

The father said Fretz never told him he had been convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in Pennsylvania in 1991.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert on Wednesday to notify the public and other law enforcement agencies once they learned about the conviction.

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