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Man charged in child abduction
Jul 24, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
The suspect is jailed in Lander on a $250,000 cash bond.
Prosecutors have charged a Riverton man with kidnapping for the abduction of 9-year-old girl from her home early Saturday.
The defendant, David Waine Brock, 22, is in jail on a $250,000 cash bond. He was taken into custody at about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday on Mortimore Lane in Lander, where he was hiding in a storage unit.
Brock is alleged to have taken the 9-year-old girl from her bedroom early Saturday in the 800 block of Cindy Circle.
In interviews, the girl said the sound of her window opening woke her. She said a man reached through her window and pulled her outside.
She said he clamped his hand over her mouth and said, "If you make any noise I will hurt you." The man set her down, and they walked away quickly.
The girl's mother called police at about 3:40 a.m. Saturday while the father ran outside and down the block to look for the girl.
He said he heard a scream in the distance, and he returned to his house to get dressed so he could continue searching.
The Riverton Police Department dispatched officers to search the area as well, along with a crew from the Riverton Volunteer Fire Department.
The girl was found at about 4:20 a.m. walking down Mary Anne Drive a few blocks from her home, according to reports.
In interviews, the girl said she and the man had walked for nine or 10 blocks, making several turns along the way. Eventually, they came to a house and went inside to a bedroom, where the man turned on a light, allowing the girl to see his face.
She said he was a "tan-haired, bearded man."
He lit a cigarette and had her sit on the bed, she said. Reportedly he was speaking softly, as if he did not want to be overheard. Then, he led her out the house's back door and to a pile of wooden boxes under a tree in the back yard.
The girl said the man told her to climb the boxes up to a tree house. There, he had her sit in a chair while he sat on the floor and removed his boots.
At one point, she said she looked at the man. Reportedly, he reacted by pushing her to the floor and placing both of his hands around her throat.
She said he yelled, "Don't look at me, or I'll hurt you."
Officials said the girl has been unable to describe anything else that took place in the tree house. She says the man lowered her out of the tree after a short period of time and walked with her for a small distance before asking her if she knew her way home. She said yes, and he left her alone on the street.
When she was found later that morning, the girl had bruises around her neck, a scratch down her spine and a bruised foot, according to court documents. She was examined by an ambulance crew and later taken to SageWest Health Care at Riverton by her parents.
Officials said the girl was not hospitalized for any substantial amount of time, but she did receive an examination to determine whether she had been the victim of a sexual assault.
Riverton Police Department Capt. Eric Murphy said the exam is a standard part of child abduction investigations.
Officials on Saturday asked the 9-year-old if she could show them where she went with her abductor. The girl led police to the intersection of East Roosevelt Avenue and North 10th Street East but did not know where to go next.
Based on subsequent interviews with the girl, police determined she had been brought to a residence at 902 E. Jackson Ave.
A bloodhound also tracked the girl's scent from the intersection of East Roosevelt Avenue and North 10th Street East to the back door of the Jackson Avenue home.
On Sunday, the RPD executed a search warrant on that house and questioned three people they found living there.
A fourth resident, Brock, had left the area before police arrived. Officials found a photo of the defendant in their records, and they said the image matched the girl's description of her abductor.
Police began searching for Brock, who did not respond to requests that he turn himself in for questioning.
According to court documents, Brock's mother, Carolyn Wazelle, told police that her son was hiding in a shed at Rodney's Collision and Custom Storage Center in the 300 block of Mortimore Lane in Lander.
At about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, law enforcement went to the unit Wazelle described, lifted the unlocked door and found Brock trying to hide behind some items.
"He had been staying there a couple of days," Murphy said.
'She's done amazing'
Brock initially was arrested on an outstanding Big Horn County warrant for failure to pay fines.
After he was taken into custody, officials took a photo of Brock and showed it to the 9-year-old girl in a lineup. Investigators said she identified Brock as her kidnapper.
Police commended the girl for her ability to communicate effectively about the incident.
"We've done two interviews with her," Murphy said. "She's done amazing in both of those interviews."
He said he has spoken with the girl's mother, who said she did not know Brock previously.
The Fremont County Attorney's Office filed two kidnapping charges against Brock on Thursday morning.
Both counts cover the same alleged crime, and Brock only can be convicted of one of the charges.
The dual charge gives officials more options for prosecution as the investigation into the incident continues.
"It's early on in the case," Fremont County Attorney Michael Bennett said. "(This) allows the state to develop the case as the investigation continues."
A kidnapping conviction carries a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.
Brock was scheduled for an initial appearance at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Riverton Circuit Court.
His initial appearance originally had been scheduled for Wednesday, but it was pushed back to allow time for prosecutors to finalize the charges against him.