January 27, 2006 – Posted at 5:20 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- Two Kentucky men face charges in connection with the kidnapping of a 14-year-old Jonesboro girl. The girl disappeared sometime last Friday night from her grandmother's home in rural Craighead County. The girl initially made contact with a man police are calling a sexual predator... sources tell K8 news the relationship began in a religious themed chat room.
K8 news has also learned that the girl's mother found out about the relationship and contacted the suspect informing him of the child age. But the communications continued with the suspect mailing the girl cell phones... the girl's mother discovered the cell phones and turned them into the Jonesboro Police. And it was the mother's perseverance that led authorities to a Winchester , Kentucky motel where the girl was found. It's every parent's worst nightmare and it's happening more and more frequently... the emergence of the internet has made the world available at your fingertips and at the same time invites the world into your home.
"We tell our children it isn't safe to talk to strangers but as soon as they get in a chat room on the internet or on one of these websites where they interact with others that is exactly what they are doing talking with strangers," said Sgt. Stephen McDaniel of the Jonesboro Police Department.
Strangers like 38-year-old Charles Ray Wise and Clarence D. Dunn of Winchester , Kentucky. Wise allegedly abducted 14-year old Jonesboro girl from her grandparent's home.
"What we want the parents to know is that something like this can happen here and it obviously does happen here," said McDaniel.
The 14-year-old victim has been using the internet to interact with Wise over the last couple months. The girl's mother saw the warning signs and contacted the Jonesboro police department January 2nd.
"The girls mother was concerned about interaction that the child had had with contact over the internet and cell phones," said Sgt. Todd Nelson, JPD. Cell phones that Wise was sending to the young girl so that he could keep in contact with her.
That's why when she was reported missing early Saturday morning. The Craighead County Sheriff's Department immediately entered her into the National Crime Information Center so that she would show up in the system. Monday, a locator message with the girl's photo went out to all law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, Missouri Tennessee and Kentucky. In addition the FBI was contacted, they interviewed Wise and Tuesday night the girl was found in a motel in Winchester , Kentucky.
"The diligence of her mother to make the report to pry if you will into the child's personal life," said Nelson.
"If this individual has just driven down here and picked this girl up we would have had no idea where to look for her at," said Sheriff Jack McCann.
A parent's attention to a child's behavior in addition to a coordinated effort by law enforcement led to the quick resolution.