15-year-old arrested in attempted abduction of toddler in Eastern Washington

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SEATTLE — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested for the attempted abduction of a child from a park in the Lincoln County town of Sprague, the sheriff’s office announced Wednesday.

The teen, who lives in Sprague, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping for Monday’s snatching of a toddler, who the suspect later dropped as he was being chased by the child’s siblings and local residents, Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers said in a news release.

“During the last 24 hours Lincoln County detectives focused on a suspect who resides in Sprague,” Magers said.  “Additional evidence, interviews, DNA collection, and surveillance was conducted … A photo montage was also utilized and one of the siblings positively identified the suspect.”

The boy was booked into a juvenile facility and recommended charges were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, the sheriff said.

The incident began when the Lincoln County Dispatch Center received a 911 call reporting a man had grabbed a 22-month-old  child from a stroller in a park Monday and ran.

Surveillance video from a grocery store shows the kidnapper running with Owen Wright in his arms, with Owen’s siblings chasing after.

Owen’s two young siblings yelled and others pursued the abductor.  The kidnapper dropped little Owen in a vacant lot and ran off.

Everyone was safe, but police wanted to catch the suspect before he tried it again.

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19 comments

      • nick

        If u watched the first report on the incident it states there was 3 young kids being watched by a babysitter and the babysitter was not paying attention at the time it happened, follow all the reports and info before u talk please uwbuzz

        • suzanne

          “Young” is a relative term. The older brother is 10yrs old. A 10yr old and an 8yr old are old enough to walk a short distance to a park to play for a short time. They are also old enough to care for an older toddler for a while.

          • Aaron

            Really, Suzanne? The 10 year old told police that he acted, chasing after the abductor, because he wanted his brother back so that his brother could go do his cousin’s birthday party. The girl also said the abductor talked to them, and told them he was nice with kids. Had a supervising adult been around, that guy would have never gotten close to those kids. These kids are kids, and think like kids, not supervising adults. They are lucky that when they chased after the guy, he didn’t get them into a van, and take off with all three. I have to totally disagree with your completely irrational comment.

          • Nick

            Suzanne by law you have to be 12 years old in this state to actually be able to watch your self and as far as watching for your siblings there has to be another adult. Parenting now a days!! WOW!!! MIND BLOWN!!! It only takes a few seconds of turning your head and your kid is gone, seen it happen numerous times, not saying I am perfect and yes I have had it happen to me as well. So No 10 year old’s should be responsible or watch for little kids at all!!! Shame on society!

          • Morag Black

            I’d be worried even for my 10 and 8 yr olds..While I believe there are many more good than bad people, and while I live in a fairly safe area, my 10 and 8 yr olds would not be off to the park with their baby brother…unless I was right behind, trying to stay outta sight maybe, Nah, Have the dug and a big stick ;)

  • Frank D.

    That 15 year old Kid needs to be locked up. This type of behavior will not stop only get worse. A real Ted Bundy type. He needs civil commitment after he does his time.

  • IP 145.374.032

    “A photo montage was also utilized and one of the siblings positively identified the suspect.”
    This type of “evidence” has resulted in a large number of innocent citizens being arrested and convicted. So much so, it is practically worthless. Why it is continued to be used in court, instead of just during the investigation, is beyond negligence and should be considered malpractice.

  • Diane

    Also curious about the parents. One newscast was supposedly interviewing the Mother, who supposedly is only 19? The oldest child is 10. Does that mean the Mom had a child at age 9, or did the news mess up and it was the BABYSITTER who was 19? Lots of facts need to be revealed here. Surely some investigation into why the kids were left alone in the park needs to be done. A 10-yr-old in the park during broad daylight is one thing, but not a toddler in a stroller.

  • Rich

    @aaron You are the one completely irrational. A ten year old is perfectly old enough to play in a park next to the house he is staying in. Of course it was dangerous for them to chase after the teen, but that’s not the issue. Kids are generally safe in parks. Please find us some other stories of toddlers abducted from parks and then given chase by their siblings. Oh, you can’t? Because you’re smoking squirrel juice. Nick, Washington state doesn’t have any laws regarding this issue, says Latchkey-Kids.com.

  • Nichole

    Well how about if we put it like this: the babysitter should have been babysitting, hence her job title. Had she been doing what I assume she was being paid to do, the attempt to kidnap the baby never would have occurred. Also, I fear what would have happened to the baby had they not chased the kidnapper. I don’t know why it’s even a debate concerning the babysitter though.

  • Kris N.

    children who do other crimes can be charged as adults. Charge him as an adult. He didn’t have any good plans for that baby. And when he finished whatever sinister plan then he would have likely killed that poor child. Drug laws shouldn’t be tougher than abduction, rape and molestation laws. All of which would have likely happened along with murder. And Himan trafficking/sex trafficking is epedemic now. He may have sold this baby.

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