UPDATE: The suspect shot himself and died from his injury, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) – The frantic search for a 12-year-old Colorado girl who was believed to have been abducted by a registered sex offender is over.
The western Colorado case triggered an Amber Alert on Wednesday night that remained in effect for 24 hours. It was canceled late Thursday night when the girl was found safe and then reunited with her mother. According to sources close to the family, police brought the victim’s mother to a police office to reunite the two.
Jody Haskin, 47, was named as a suspect in the case, according to Grand Junction police spokeswoman Heidi Davidson. The department released an arrest warrant for Haskin, who is the girl’s stepfather but doesn’t have any parental rights to her. He remained on the run Thursday night but police believe he may still be in the Rifle area. They were searching along Interstate 70 late Thursday night.
The case unfolded on Colorado’s Western Slope in the afternoon after the girl got off her school bus in the 400 block of Larry’s Meadow Drive in Grand Junction. She was approached by an adult male in a vehicle and a friend she was with said she saw her get into the man’s car willingly. The girl’s mother called police to report that she didn’t come home from school.
After the girl’s disappearance, family members told police Haskin might have something to with it.
“We were also able to identify leads that indicated Jodi Haskin may be traveling in a family member’s vehicle which matched the description of the car witnessed in the abduction of (the girl),” said Grand Junction Interim Police Chief Mike Nordine.
Nordine said “good, proactive police work” led to the recovery of that car in the parking lot of a Walmart in Rifle. No one was in it, however.
Sometime after that sources say the girl was able to somehow escape her captor and run to safety inside the Walmart store. It’s unclear how she escaped.
Haskin was described as being a while male who is 6 feet tall, weighs 215 pounds and is balding with brown eyes and glasses. He has a previous warrant out for his arrest for sex assault on a child in Grand Junction.
Anyone with tips about the location of Jody Haskin is asked to call (970)549-5656.