Cody Kidnapping Suspect Held in Montana [VIDEO]
Update 7:05 p.m. Monday – In a press release, FBI officials confirm the suspect is 39-year-old Jesse Speer of Belgrade, Mont. No further details were available.
Officials with the Cody Police Department and the FBI say a suspect has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a Cody girl last week.
Authorities have not yet released the suspect’s name.
During a Monday morning press conference, officials with the FBI and the Cody Police Department said surveillance photos and videos helped find the suspect, who was arrested Saturday night in Belgrade, Mont.
We were targeting a certain vehicle that was seen in the places that it should have been if he were the abductor,” Rockvam said. “But it was with and through the help of the Yellowstone National Park law enforcement that we were actually able to get a video with a license plate on that vehicle.”
Cody police worked with FBI agents over a six-day span to locate the suspected kidnapper. FBI agent Bob Evans, who oversees Wyoming FBI cases from the agency’s Denver office, says it was a collaborative effort between both police and FBI officials.
“These cases are horrific for law enforcement,” Evans said. “But the one positive I always take away is the way the community and law enforcement rallies.”
Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam says the kidnapping has taken a toll on many in the Cody area.
This has had quite an impact on our community,” Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam said Monday. “When you have an event like this, it definitely has an impact on a community that’s very close-knit.”
While officials have not publicly released the suspect’s name, jail records in Belgrade show 39-year-old Jesse Speer was booked over the weekend with a Wyoming hold. Officials in Belgrade say Speer, whose bond was set at $2 million, faces kidnapping, aggravated assault and felony use of a weapon charges.
Cody police believe the suspect lured the 11-year-old girl into a white sport utility vehicle last Monday, asking the girl to help him find a missing puppy. Police say the suspect then threatened and struck the girl with a handgun.
Officials say the girl was found on a mountain road near Cody by hunters hours later.
Authorities do not believe there is a connection between the kidnapping in Cody and a similar case regarding the disappearance of a Colorado girl.
Watch the entire press conference: