Sheriff’s deputies rescue autistic teen who was lured from home in Arkansas to cabin in Eatonville, WA area
February 24, 2018
(EATONVILLE, WA.) – A team of deputies & sergeants from the Pierce County Sheriff’s office have rescued an autistic teenage girl who was lured online and transported by a male suspect from her home in Arkansas to a cabin in the Eatonville area.
Deputies have arrested two kidnapping suspects in the incident and the girl has been reunited with her family.
The sheriff's office released the following statement about the incident:
“On Thursday February 22, 2018, our department received a request for assistance from detectives with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department in Luxora, Arkansas. The detectives were investigating the disappearance of an 18 year old autistic special needs girl, who was discovered missing from her home in the Blytheville, AR area at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Saturday February 17.
Mississippi County detectives were able to determine that in the minutes before her disappearance, the victim had received and replied to a text message from a Washington State phone number. Through further investigation, MSCD detectives were able to determine that the victim had been contacted online by a 50 year old man from the Eatonville area, who reportedly has tried to befriend over 8000 other children via social media.
Detectives learned that in the days before the victim disappeared, the male suspect had reportedly flew from Washington to Tennessee with an adult female companion. The suspects reportedly rented a vehicle utilizing fake identifications, then drove to the victim’s residence in Arkansas where they lured or abducted the victim with a possible sexual motivation.
The suspects then drove the victim to Washington State, where detectives were able to link the suspects to an address in the Eatonville area of Pierce County.
MCSD were able to obtain arrest warrants for the 50 year old male and his 28 year old female companion for Kidnapping of an Incompetent Person, and were able to determine as possible address where the suspects and victim could be located.
Throughout the afternoon our Mountain Detachment developed a plan for contacting the residence, rescuing the endangered victim, and capturing the suspects.
At 4:55 p.m. a team of two sergeants, three deputies, and one detective sergeant knocked on the door of the residence located in the 39100 block of Ski Park Rd. E. near Eatonville. Deputies observed surveillance cameras on the house and could hear noises inside, but despite their commands, there was no answer at the door.
As the team began to contemplate forcing entry to the residence, at 5:02 p.m. the suspects opened the doors and were taken into custody. The kidnap victim was located safe inside the house, and the male suspect’s 14 year old son was also located safe inside the house.
The male suspect and the female suspect were booked into the Pierce County Jail for their kidnapping warrants, where are currently awaiting extradition to Arkansas.
The victim was protected by a #PCSD deputy throughout the night and then placed onto an airplane this morning by the FBI. She is now in Arkansas where she will be formally interviewed by MCSD detectives and reunited with her family.
Our deputies also transported the male suspect’s teenage son to a relative’s house in King County.
We are incredibly proud of the work by our deputies in safely recovering the victim and returning her to family, and for their outstanding work in capturing the suspects. We are also proud to partner with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office and commend their investigators for their exceptional work in identifying these suspects.”