Patrol: Missouri Girl Found Safe, Sex Offender Arrested

By: KAKE News / Associated Press Email
By: KAKE News / Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A 5-year-old girl abducted in southeast Missouri is found alive, and the convicted sex offender suspected of taking her is in custody.

Police say the girl and the suspect were found during a traffic stop at 1:50 p.m. Wednesday along a rural highway about 10 miles south of her hometown of Poplar Bluff.

Poplar Bluff police officer Darron Moore says the suspect did not try to flee or resist arrest.

The girl was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Butler County prosecutor Kevin Barbour says he is finalizing paperwork on charges.

The child's mother discovered just before 7 a.m. that she was missing. The suspect is a 45-year-old man who was convicted in 1990 for the abduction, rape and sodomy of a 12-year-old girl in Fort Hood, Texas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Southeast Missouri authorities are searching for a 5-year-old girl that they believe was abducted from her bedroom by a convicted sex offender.

An Amber Alert says Abigail Elaine Bertholf was taken between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday in Poplar Bluff. She is described as bi-racial with black hair and brown eyes.

Police believe she's with 45-year-old Jeffrey Dean Shelton, who was arrested in 1990 for the abduction, rape and sodomy of a 12-year-old girl in Fort Hood, Texas. He is reportedly driving a silver 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with Missouri license PJ8Z5M.

Poplar Bluff Police Capt. Dave Sutton told KAIT-TV the suspect and child are not related. He says the suspect was seen leaving the street where the girl lives with the child by his side.

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