Archive for Monday, August 30, 2010

Judge sets $150,000 bond for person of interest in Great Bend teen’s death

August 30, 2010, 11:36 a.m. Updated August 30, 2010, 2:34 p.m.

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Alicia Debolt's charred body was found at an asphalt plant near Great Bend on Wednesday. The 14-year-old had been missing since Saturday evening.

Alicia Debolt's charred body was found at an asphalt plant near Great Bend on Wednesday. The 14-year-old had been missing since Saturday evening.

Kansas man in court in connection with disappearance of teen

Adam Longoria, described as a person of interest in the death of 14-year-old Great Bend resident Alicia DeBolt, appeared in court today for his two crimes unrelated to the death. Enlarge video

— A man considered a person of interest in the death of a 14-year-old girl is a flight risk and a potential danger to the public, the Kansas attorney general told a judge Monday.

Attorney General Steve Six said Adam Joseph Longoria had 13 prior felony convictions, including one for attempted escape. He is also wanted on a warrant out of Marion, N.C., accusing him of falsely reporting threats at an elementary school.

Longoria, 36, was arrested Friday driving an SUV reported stolen from a Great Bend asphalt company where Alicia DeBolt's charred body was found just a few days earlier.

Six said at Longoria's first court appearance on charges of vehicular burglary and theft that stealing the SUV was a "desperate act" spurred by the investigation of DeBolt's death. He also noted Longoria of Great Bend mailed his personal belongings to Texas shortly before fleeing in the stolen vehicle.

Longoria appeared in court without an attorney. He told the judge he had cooperated with authorities "from day one," and that he wasn't a flight risk because law enforcement officials told him he wasn't being detained when questioned.

Barton County Judge Hannelore Kitts granted the prosecution's request for a $150,000 bond and agreed to revisit conditions of release if he makes bond.

A hearing was set Sept. 6 to review the status of Longoria's legal representation.

Outside the courthouse, Six said prosecutors were not ready to call Longoria a suspect in DeBolt's death, and that authorities continued to pursue all leads.

"We will be making further decisions about what happens in that case based on the investigation and the facts we are continuing to work on," Six said. "This case is a tragedy. I think we saw that last night in the vigil that was held here in Great Bend."

About 2,000 people turned out for the Sunday night candlelight vigil to remember DeBolt.

Some of her young friends wore flip flops and wrapped blue ribbons in their hair in honor of the teen they called "Babygurl," who would have started her freshman year of high school as a cheerleader on Aug. 23.

Alicia left her house at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 21 to go to a party, and her family reported her missing the next afternoon. Her body was found Tuesday.

She was so badly burned that the coroner had to rely on dental records to identify the remains. Authorities have not said how she died.

"She didn't deserve to die the way she did," Erica Schwager, a 15-year-old friend, said tearfully.

Rev. Scott Solether, a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Great Bend, said Alicia's death affected a lot of people in the community. Great Bend is a city of about 15,600 people about 95 miles northwest of Wichita.

"First, shock this would happen, then anger it would happen to someone so young, and then a lot of compassion," he said.

Longoria had only been out of prison for three months when authorities said the Highway Patrol caught him Friday off Interstate 70 near Salina.

The Kansas charges are the latest in a long rap sheet for Longoria, who was released May 25 from a Texas prison after completing a seven-year sentence for aggravated robbery. Records in Texas show Longoria has done time there since 1991 for charges including burglary, forgery, credit card abuse, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, escape from prison and evading arrest.

Comments

amac 4 years, 12 months ago

just wondering....did they determine she never really left with a 19 year old man, but instead this guy? or did she actually leave with the 19 year old and somehow end up with the other guy? it's all so sad.

morganlefay 4 years, 12 months ago

They're saying she did get in the black SUV with a 19 year old male, but the party they were going to was supposedly at this guy's house. He denies that there was a party at his house that night, of course.

mbulicz 4 years, 12 months ago

My hunch is that they haven't been able to clinch the case against Longoria, possibly pending DNA tests and such. Something tells me this isn't as cut and dry a case as it seems.

The investigators are very, very wise to hold on to all the details until they have an effective case. I'm glad they haven't sensationalized this case by giving out every detail to the media. This will ensure that the prosecution can do its job and put the culprit in prison for a long, long time.

mom_of_three 4 years, 12 months ago

They did the same thing with the Jodi Sanderholm case in Ark City. They arrested the suspect on another charge and then when the evidence was there (such as dna) they charged him with her murder. Keeps the bad guy off the streets and lets the right charges get filed.

morganlefay 4 years, 12 months ago

Great Bend has an infamous history of unsolved murder cases, so hopefully they get this one done right...

morganlefay 4 years, 12 months ago

I was told by someone living in the area, that this is like Great Bend's 7th homicide and the previous ones have all been unsolved. I do not know the timeframe of all the previous homicides.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 12 months ago

They might be having problems connecting the dots. The body being burned might not be able to collect any DNA. I can see his defense now, "I saw this dead body, and with my criminal history, I knew I'd get the blame, so I stole the SUV".

mbulicz 4 years, 12 months ago

Exactly. They're obviously not getting a confession - either they have the wrong suspect or are having a hard time coming up with the right evidence.

Shane Garrett 4 years, 12 months ago

Tune in to Nancy Grace, she will find the justice.

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