By Shari Ireton, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Director of Communications.
On Friday, August 8, 2014, detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office established probable cause to have the 60 year-old man found with a 14 year-old missing Snohomish girl arrested for 2nd degree kidnapping. The suspect was also booked for an outstanding warrant for 2nd degree trespassing.
Following up on a variety of tips and information gathered during the investigation, detectives believe that the girl met the suspect at a McDonalds in Snohomish not long after she left her house on August, 6th, 2014. The suspect befriended the girl and the two traveled by bus to Lynnwood. They spent the night with an acquaintance of the suspect at a mobile home park.
The suspect told acquaintances that the 14 year-old was her granddaughter. Detectives do not believe that the suspect and the victim knew each other prior to August 6th. The suspect admitted to detectives that the girl told him she was only 14 years-old, but he did not make an attempt to notify her family or law enforcement of her whereabouts.
The next morning, the suspect and the victim went to a restaurant for breakfast. She left the restaurant and went to a nearby grocery store where an alert clerk recognized her from news reports and called 911. Lynnwood Police arrived and arrested the suspect on the outstanding warrant. The victim was taken to Providence Hospital for evaluation and was reunited with her family later in the day.
The incident remains under investigation with the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit until all evidence has been processed.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize the many agencies, as well as volunteers and alert members of the community, who provided valuable assistance in the search for the missing girl.