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Missing Child Found With Sex Offender

AN eight-year-old girl who disappeared with her brother six weeks ago from a house where family members were bludgeoned to death was spotted yesterday with a registered sex offender at a restaurant, officials said.
The girl's nine-year-old brother, Dylan, had not yet been found, Kootenai County Sheriff's Captain Ben Wolfinger said.
He said the girl, Shasta Groene, was spotted in her hometown by a waitress who apparently recognised her from photographs displayed in the media.
Joseph Edward Duncan III, from Fargo, North Dakota, was arrested without incident and charged with kidnapping, Mr Wolfinger said.
Shasta seemed well, and was being interviewed by investigators.
"She was sitting in a restaurant eating a meal. She's obviously well enough to do that," Mr Wolfinger said.
Duncan had an outstanding warrant for failing to register as a sex offender and had a history of rape. Mr Wolfinger said. He was facing charges of molesting a six-year-old boy in Minnesota last year but was released on bail in April.
It is not known whether Duncan had a connection with the family.
Mr Wolfinger said he had no information on where Shasta had been held or where her brother may be.
"All we know is that he was not with Shasta and Duncan" at the restaurant, he said.
Shasta and her brother Dylan had been missing since at least May 16, when sheriff's deputies responded to a call from a neighbour.
The deputies found the bound bodies of Brenda Groene, 40, Slade Groene, 13, and Mark McKenzie, 37. The victims had been bludgeoned to death.
FBI agents and local officers have interviewed hundreds of people to find out who might have killed the family and where the children might be.

Adelaide Advertiser (4-7-2005)
Nicholas Geranios


Girl Tells Of Abduction Before Brutal Killing

Eight-year-old Shasta Groene told authorities a man, later identified as a violent sexual predator, tied up her family before she and her brother Dylan, 9, were taken away in a pickup truck, court papers reveal.
The affidavit, however, makes no mention of the savage beating deaths of the abducted children's mother, older brother and mother's boyfriend, or if the girl witnessed their killing.
Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, of Fargo, North Dakota, yesterday was charged with two kidnapping counts and ordered held without ball. The charges carry the death penalty or life in prison. The intent of the crimes, court documents said, was to rape, seriously injure or commit a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16 years old.
The children vanished on May 16. Early on Sunday, customers spotted the girl eating breakfast with Duncan in Coeur d'Alene Authorities believe she may have tried to get patrons at a gas station and store to recognise her hours before. Security camera videotape showed the girl and her alleged kidnapper at the store on Saturday evening in Kellogg, about 65km east of Coeur d'Alene. "She's walking around, stopping, looking right at the faces of patrons there," Kootenai County Sheriffs Captain Ben Wolfinger said. Authorities are awaiting DNA test results of human remains found in western Montana that may be those of Dylan.

AAP (7-7-2005)
Nicholas Geranios




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