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Archive for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Details emerge about Idaho abduction

July 6, 2005

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— Eight-year-old Shasta Groene remembers the harrowing events the night she was abducted - being awakened by her mother and led into the living room, where she watched a man tie up her family.

Then, she told investigators, she and her 9-year-old brother were taken away by the man in a pickup truck - leaving behind their mother, brother and mother's boyfriend, who later were found bludgeoned to death.

The details emerged Tuesday as Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, of Fargo, N.D., was charged with two first-degree kidnapping counts and ordered held without bail. Duncan was shackled and appeared unshaven as he faced the judge during a brief appearance via video link.

In a two-page handwritten court document released Tuesday, Kootenai County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Maskell wrote that both Shasta and 9-year-old Dylan Groene "were repeatedly molested" by Duncan. According to the document, Shasta said she witnessed Duncan molest her brother.

Duncan said little on Tuesday other than to acknowledge that he understood the charges against him and asking if could consult his attorney, Lynn Nelson, a public defender.

Authorities continued to wait for DNA test results of human remains found in western Montana earlier this week that may be those of 9-year-old Dylan. Those results are expected to take three days.

Shasta was found Saturday at a restaurant after employees and customers spotted her eating breakfast with Duncan.

Duncan has refused to cooperate with authorities in their search for the 9-year-old boy, officials said. Authorities have relied on information from boy's sister, evidence from Duncan's stolen red Jeep Cherokee and some 100 new tips.

Authorities believe the girl may have tried to get patrons at a gas station and convenience store to recognize her.

Security camera videotape showed Shasta and her alleged kidnapper at the store Friday evening in Kellogg. She walks among customers and appears to be trying to make eye contact, but no one notices.

"It's a little sad to watch her walk around and look at people and see no one recognize her," Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said Tuesday.

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