GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) – The man wanted for an alleged kidnapping has shot himself rather than surrender to law enforcement. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the details early Friday.
The 12-year-old Colorado girl who was believed to have been abducted by a registered sex offender was reunited with her family on Thursday night.
Jody Haskin, 47, was named as a suspect in the case. He was located about 7:30 a.m. Friday near the Walmart in Rifle. He had shot himself and was declared dead.
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.
The department had released an arrest warrant for Haskin, who is the girl’s stepfather but doesn’t have any parental rights to her.
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 has a previous warrant out for his arrest for sex assault on a child in Grand Junction.