Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman they say lured an autistic teen from Arkansas to a cabin near Eatonville, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
The 50-year-old Renton man and 28-year-old Eatonville woman were arraigned Friday in Pierce County Superior Court for extradition to Mississippi County, Arkansas, on warrants for kidnapping. Both are being held on $15,000 bail.
The 18-year-old woman was rescued about 5 p.m. Thursday, deputies say, shortly after deputies arrived at the cabin in the 39100 block of Ski Park Road East, along the shore of Ohop Lake north of Eatonville. That’s when the other two were arrested.
According to sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer:
Never miss a local story.
Mississippi County (Ark.) sheriff’s detectives were investigating the disappearance early Saturday of the 18-year-old autistic girl from her home near Blytheville.
The detectives determined the victim texted back and forth with a cellphone with a Washington area code. They traced that to online interactions she had with the 50-year-old man, who has tried to befriend upwards of 8,000 children on social media.
The Arkansas detectives then found that in the days before the teen disappeared, the man flew in from Washington to Tennessee with the older woman, then drove to the teen’s home in a rental car with a fake identity. That’s when they kidnapped the girl, possibly with sexual motivation.
The pair then drove the girl across the country to the cabin, where detectives eventually tracked them.
Six Pierce County deputies came to the cabin just before 5 p.m. Thursday, where they could hear noises inside and saw surveillance cameras, but nobody responded to knocks at the door.
As the deputies prepared to enter the cabin, the two suspects opened the doors and were arrested. The teen woman was found safe inside, as was the man’s 14-year-old son.
The teen woman was flown home early Friday by the FBI, and the man’s son was taken to family in King County.