Suspects in missing teen case released on bond

(Source: Raycom Media)
(Source: Raycom Media)

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Two people were in custody Friday after their arrest on suspicion of kidnapping a Mississippi County girl.

In discussing the case of missing teenager Ashton Talley, officials said the two were in custody in Pierce County, Washington, which is in the Tacoma area. The 56-year-old man and 28-year-old woman were arrested and face a kidnapping of an incompetent person charge.

Talley was found safe in Pierce County, Washington. Ellington stated the two will be extradited back to Arkansas. He was not able to provide a timeline as to when that may happen.

Talley, 18, was reported missing last Saturday from her home on Highway 312 in Mississippi County.

Sheriff's investigators said Talley received a text around 3:15 Saturday morning.

She was discovered missing at 3:50 a.m.

According to a media release from Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff''s Department, Mississippi County authorities had asked for assistance after finding out Talley 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 8,000 other children via social media," Troyer said. "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."

Police believe the pair rented a vehicle using fake identification, then went to Talley's home "where they lured or abducted the victim with a possible sexual motivation," Troyer said.

The suspects then took Talley to Washington State, Troyer said.

During an 8:30 p.m. press conference at the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office in Luxora, Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook and Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington provided details about Talley.

Both Cook and Ellington thanked federal and state officials in several states for their help, as well as officials in Washington state for their work in helping to find Talley.

Ellington also asked parents to be vigilant in dealing with their children's use of social media.

On Monday, Ellington said both suspects, Knanh Tan Le and Katherine Michelle Jones were released on $15,000 bond out of Washington state before officers from Arkansas could get there to interview them.

Ellington added he is grateful for the help provided by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department in locating Tan Le and Jones, as well as their assistance with investigators in the case.

He said they will continue with the extradition process and will let the investigation run its course.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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