Jesse Paul Speer's alleged kidnapping victim saw photos of other naked girls before assault
Original post, 11:50 a.m. October 11: At this writing, we haven't received an update about the search for Jessica Ridgeway, a Westminster ten year old who's been missing since Friday, or the identity of a body found in Arvada yesterday. Moments ago, however, the local FBI office, which is assisting in the Ridgeway investigation, sent out an alert on another abduction of a young girl -- an eleven year old from Cody, Wyoming, who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted before being released on Monday. Is there a connection? Here are the details.
At 4:33 p.m. on Monday, according to a Cody Police Department news release, officers received a report from another eleven year old that she and friends had been approached by a man 45 minutes earlier at the city's Park County Complex, at 1501 Stampede Avenue. The man had claimed he needed help finding a missing black Labrador puppy and asked the girls if they could help him. At that point, one of the girls agreed and climbed into the passenger side of the vehicle -- a white SUV with two seats up front and a mattress in the back that suggested he had been living out of it. The SUV drove away with the girl and hadn't returned.
A couple of hours later, an Amber Alert was issued for the girl. She was identified by name, and the alert included a recent photo. Because she is a sexual-assault victim, however, we're leaving the name out and have altered the photo to protect her identity.
A shot of the Park County Complex in Cody, courtesy of KAJ18.com.
About an hour and a half later, the girl was found under circumstances that the Cody Enterprise describes as nothing short of a miracle. The newspaper features an interview with Shane Larsen, who'd been out hunting with a buddy and their two sons in a remote area near the end of Carter Mountain Access Road -- approximately four miles from the nearest house -- when they saw a young girl walking in the barrow along the roadway. She was clad in clothing far too light for the approximately thirty degree temperature.
The group, which knew nothing about the abduction or Amber Alert, offered to give her a lift and she gladly accepted -- and before long, she revealed that she'd been kidnapped. The man had eventually let her go, she said, but not before doing terrible things. Larsen doesn't make reference to the sexual assault in the Enterprise article, but he notes that the abductor had pulled out a gun with which he struck the girl, and put a bag over her head.
"She also told us that at one point, they got into a physical struggle, and she kicked him in the nose, and made his nose bloody," Larsen told the paper. "I think she had amazing survival instincts."
In addition, the girl was able to give authorities a detailed description of her assailant. In recent days, Colorado law enforcers have mentioned the similarities in the Cody case and the Jessica Ridgeway disappearance, and while the FBI release explicitly states that agents don't know of a link between the crimes at present, the timing of its appearance will likely spark more speculation.
Look below for a report on the abduction from Wyoming's K2-TV, followed by the FBI release. Both feature a description of the kidnapper.
The Cody Police Department, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and the FBI are actively working a child abduction investigation that occurred in Cody, Wyoming.
Investigators are asking for the public's assistance in identifying an unknown subject responsible for the abduction of a juvenile female from the Park County Complex in Cody, Wyoming.
The juvenile has since been found and reunited with her family.
The subject enticed the juvenile into his vehicle by asking for assistance in locating his missing pet. The subject had a weapon in his vehicle and should be considered armed and dangerous.
The subject is described as a white male, approximately 55-60 years of age, 6'0 feet tall, 185 - 200 lbs., with short strawberry blonde or white hair, and well-trimmed facial hair.
Last seen wearing a brown shirt, blue jeans, and a tan baseball cap.
The subject was driving a white colored vehicle, possibly an SUV, with grey leather type front seats, the back seat and luggage area were set up with bedding type materials.
The subject may be living out of his vehicle. A black and red backpack along with a case of bottled water was tied to the top of the vehicle.
Anyone having information on this case is asked to contact the Cody Police Department at (307) 527-8700, or the FBI national tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) to report information to investigators in this case. We are asking anyone who may observe this individual or the described vehicle to contact law enforcement immediately and not approach this person.
While the FBI Denver Division is actively involved in two child abduction investigations, one in Colorado and one in Wyoming, currently we do not believe these crimes are related.
More from our News archive: "Jessica Ridgeway search update: No announcement of body ID at press briefing."