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  1. #1
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    WV - Child Rapist Sought - Wheeling

    This happened in my neck of the woods. They still have not caught the man. The first offense took place two blocks from my home. Wheeling is across the river, and he grabbed the little girl and after he assaulted her brought her across the river to Ohio -- thus bringing the FBI into the mix because of crossing state lines.

    Police Probe Ferry Offense

    By GABE WELLS

    WHEELING — Police believe the man responsible for the abduction and sexual assault of a Wheeling girl is the same man who exposed himself Sunday to a Martins Ferry woman.

    Martins Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter made the announcement Thursday at a news conference in Wheeling City Council Chambers. Wheeling police are seeking a suspect in Tuesday’s abduction of a city girl, whose 12th birthday was Wednesday. Carpenter said a man matching the description of the suspect was involved in what may have been an abduction attempt at about 9 p.m. Sunday on Hughes Avenue in the south end of his city.

    According to Carpenter, the man approached an 18-year-old woman as she returned to her home. He then asked her for directions, exposed himself to the woman and then began to masturbate, Carpenter said.

    The woman turned and ran, and the suspect chased her for a distance before he got into a nearby truck and left the scene.

    The truck also is similar in description to the vehicle used in Tuesday’s abduction in Wheeling.

    Wheeling Police Department Lt. Gary Gaus and FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Mark Wheeler said the techniques are the same in both crimes.

    In both cases, the suspect asked the victims for directions to an area location and then chased them after posing the question.

    Also at the news conference, Gauss confirmed the young girl in Tuesday’s abduction was sexually assaulted.

    Wheeler then added that an FBI sketch artist currently is working with that victim to develop and release a rendering of the suspect.

    That rendering may be released today, and an improved description of the vehicle is anticipated.

    Wheeler, Gaus and Carpenter said the police presence already has been greatly increased in both cities.

    And Wheeler is asking area parents to pay close attention to the whereabouts of their children.

    ‘‘There’s no need for hysteria,’’ Wheeler said. ‘‘There is a need for extra prudence.’’

    The suspect is a heavyset or ‘‘chubby’’ white male who is believed to be in his mid-20s. He is about 5 feet 10 inches tall.

    The suspected vehicle is full-size pickup truck that is medium-brown in color. It has a stripe on its side that gets darker in color down the length of the body. The truck may have an extended cab.

    Anyone with information regarding the alleged abduction or the vehicle believed to have been involved is asked to contact the Wheeling Police Department at (304) 234-3664.
    http://theintelligencer.net/news/art...rticleID=16589

    Photo of suspect http://www.wtov9.com/2007/0223/11095688.jpg

    Edited to add another article about the assault.

    Kidnapping, Rape Suspect Still at Large

    By GABE WELLS and SHELLEY HANSON Staff Writers



    WHEELING — City police continue to scour the area for the vehicle used in the Tuesday abduction of a Wheeling girl. Two vehicles spotted today were not the targeted truck.

    Wheeling Police Department Sgt. John Wroten said police saw a vehicle at about 8 a.m. today in Center Wheeling near a city water treatment plant that was similar to the brown, extended-cab truck used in the abduction, but that vehicle was quickly ruled out by police. Police also were advised at about 10:15 a.m. today of a vehicle similar to that description on Market Street, but that truck also was determined not to be the suspected vehicle.

    The abduction took place Tuesday night in the area of the North Wheeling Convenient. City residents in the store on Wednesday traded bits of information about how the now 12-year-old girl was doing less than a day after she was kidnapped in an alley behind the store.

    She was found in Bridgeport that same Tuesday night after being released by her kidnapper, who still is at large.

    The residents said they hope she is doing well despite it all.

    Police say a man forced the girl into his pickup truck around 8:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of Kenney Street between Main and Market streets. Wheeling police Sgt. John Wroten said the abductor, who was not wearing clothes, grabbed the girl from behind.

    The victim was walking with a friend at the time of the abduction. The friend ran home and told her mother what happened. The friend’s mother called police. The abductor released the girl near Kirkwood Presbyterian Church on Bennett Street in Bridgeport.

    Residents on Wednesday pointed to a dilapidated garage, which has a gaping hole in its side and is missing a front door, located in the alleyway behind the store. They believe the man hid and waited there for the girl and her friend to pass by. One resident noted many people, including children, often use the alleyway as a shortcut. The girl, the resident said, felt safe using the alley because she knows nearly every resident who lives along it.

    North Wheeling resident Amber Kennen, 17, said she wanted to wish the little girl well.

    “I hope she doesn’t keep the pain on herself for the rest of her life,” Kennen said.

    Kennen’s friend, Maggie Lufft, 16, said she, too, hopes the girl is recovering.

    “I feel really bad for her. I hope she does good,” Lufft said.

    Resident Peggy Marsh said she worries about children being out when it’s dark, particularly if they are traveling in alleyways.

    “I think an 11-year-old should be in before 8 o’clock, especially in that area. There is a lot of drugs in that area,” she said.

    Some residents said they had noticed the man’s vehicle parked in the neighborhood in the past. Police describe it as a full-sized pickup truck, dark-colored, possibly medium-brown, with a stripe that gets darker in color toward the rear. It may have an extended cab.

    Wheeling police Chief Kevin Gessler held a news conference Wednesday regarding the matter. He said he was relieved to learn the child was alive. He hopes surveillance footage from businesses in the area will be helpful in the investigation.

    “I was relieved with the fact that she was still living and breathing,” Gessler said. “We want this guy, and we want him bad.”

    After being released from the vehicle, the girl ran to the 207 Bennett St. residence of Laura Baker. The woman said the young girl was trembling with fear.

    “My husband and I were watching TV, and we heard a loud bang on the door,” Baker said. “He answered, and there was this tiny 11-year-old crying that she had been raped. We didn’t know. We thought she lived in the neighborhood and just went running to a house. She said he grabbed her, threw his hand over her mouth, and if she didn’t do what he said he would hurt her.

    “She said her underwear, socks and sweater were still in the truck,” Baker added. “She pulled up her pant leg to show me that she didn’t have her socks on. They (police) came here and talked to her. All she wanted was her mother. She had no idea where she was dropped off. She didn’t know where she was. She ran to the first house with a light.”

    Gessler said his department has received 15 leads in the case, and Wroten said witnesses have come forward with information. Wroten believes the suspect is from the local area, but he does not believe the suspect knew the victim. Wroten is confident the suspect will be found.

    “We have a lot of leads, and we are following every one of them,” Wroten said. “I don’t believe he just stumbled in. He seemed to be familiar with North Wheeling and the Bridgeport area. He has at least some familiarity ... He asked a few questions that led us to believe he didn’t know who she was.

    “This type of crime is unusual for our area,” he added. “No one saw the (license) plate, but we have multiple calls on that type of vehicle.”

    Because the girl was transported across state lines, the Federal Bureau of Investigation also is involved in the case. Wroten met Wednesday with officials from that agency. The suspect is a heavyset or “chubby” white male who is believed to be in his mid-20s. He is about 5 feet, 10 inches tall.

    Anyone with information regarding the alleged abduction or the vehicle should call the Wheeling Police Department at (304) 234-3664.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Wheeling police Sgt. John Wroten said the abductor, who was not wearing clothes, grabbed the girl from behind.
    Oh, that poor girl. They need to get this SICKO off the streets now and, never let him out to see the light of day again.

  4. #4
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    I hope they catch him and put him out of his misery....what a waste of space

  5. #5
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    Thanks for posting that Jaded. I live in southern WV and I have not seen anything about this down here in the news.
    Retired 08/03/03

  6. #6
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    Hi Jaded,

    This is close to my neck of the woods too. I'm in WV, but not as close as you are.
    It's been all over the local news here. All I can say is that I'm glad I'm a country girl who knows how to use a gun! And I'm a darned good shot. I'll be asking questions second if I see him in my area. I am not a violent person at all...but to me, he is like a rabid animal who just needs to be put down.

    These kind of "people" should not be allowed to roam free because this is exactly what happens....they run. I just hope they get him before there is yet another victim.
    ~*~Think Globally, Act Locally! Please Recycle! ~*~

  7. #7
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    What is really scary is people here seem to think that this can't be happening in their neighborhoods. Child predators are everywhere, and all they have to do is check the sex offender registry. 119 in this county alone! Small town America is not immune to predators.

    They still haven't caught this guy. If he was so brazen as to masterbate in front of the 18 year old and then go on to abduct the little girl, he's capable of doing anything. Thank God he released her.

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    Any updates?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socks
    Any updates?
    None. Tonight they were doing a checkpoint stopping vehicles to ask if they know the man, or the vehicle. They have set up a command center in Wheeling and are continuing to investigate leads, but so far nothing reported on the news as far as suspects.



  10. #10
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    This is scary. I am in Maryland but have alot of family in WV.


  11. #11
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    That poor little girl. I am so happy that he released her and did not kill her like so many of these sick perverts

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded
    Small town America is not immune to predators.


    What is worst, Jaded, is that Small Town America is where they are flocking towards....because the theory is that they can "blend in"....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded
    Thank God he released her.
    Amen. But as we all know, the "release" part will stop soon. They better catch this guy....and fast!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lavonne
    What is worst, Jaded, is that Small Town America is where they are flocking towards....because the theory is that they can "blend in"....

    Amen. But as we all know, the "release" part will stop soon. They better catch this guy....and fast!
    I've only recently relocated here and have realized that there doesn't seem to be the awareness that there is in bigger cities. ITA with regard to the potential of the perp not releasing them in the future. Yesterday it was reported that two little girls were approached in Wheeling. Story here http://theintelligencer.net/news/art...rticleID=16789

    They believe this guy is local. I think someone knows who he is and might be protecting him or are afraid to turn their loved one in to LE. I hope they find him soon. It just blows my mind that he has not been apprehended yet. This is a small community. Someone knows this man and I hope they do the right thing before he strikes again.

  14. #14
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    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    Police Search Rape Scene for Clues in Crime

    WHEELING — While Wheeling Police Chief Kevin Gessler and FBI Agent Mark Wheeler on Wednesday released more details about the abduction and rape of a 12-year-old Wheeling girl, officials in Bethesda interviewed a man who owned a truck similar to that of the suspect in the case.

    Gessler announced Wednesday that the rape occurred on the grounds of Jubilee Christian Fellowship, 52933 National Road, St. Clairsville. The girl, who turned 12 on Feb. 21, was abducted from her Wheeling neighborhood around 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20.

    Gessler said the suspect snatched the girl from Kenney Street in North Wheeling and placed her in a pickup truck before he traveled to the Jubilee Christian Fellowship, located east of St. Clairsville near the top of Blaine Hill. She was released near the Kirkwood Presbyterian Church on Bennett Street in Bridgeport less than an hour after the abduction.

    The chief said he does not know if there is anything significant about the girl being raped on the grounds of one local church and then being released near another.

    ~much more at link~

  15. #15
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    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    From above link:
    The suspect’s vehicle is described as a full-size pickup truck that is dark or brown in color. It has a light or white stripe about 4 inches wide along the body. The truck may have an extended cab.

    and

    Meanwhile on Wednesday night, FBI officials interviewed the driver of a pickup truck recovered in Belmont County that matched the description of the truck used in the recent rape and abduction of a Wheeling girl.

    The man and his vehicle were later released, according to Bethesda Police Chief Tim Zdanski.

    The truck was found between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Glenwood Village Apartments in Bethesda, Zdanski said. The discovery was reported to Bethesda police just before 3:30 p.m.

    The chief said a witness saw a man leave the vehicle and then walk east on Ohio 147 toward Belmont. Zdanski said FBI and Wheeling police investigators responded “promptly” after the vehicle was found with a flat, left front tire while taking up two spaces in the parking lot of the apartments. The vehicle was towed to Wayne’s Towing in Belmont.

    Zdanski said FBI and Wheeling police officials were interviewing the owner of the truck around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bethesda Police Department headquarters.

    The chief would not release the man’s name, but he noted the man’s appearance was similar to the description of the suspect in the Wheeling abduction.

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