Monday, July 28, 2003

Two Kokomo girls found OK after possible abduction

The Associated Press

KOKOMO, Ind. - Two girls who may have been abducted from their Kokomo apartment early Sunday were found unharmed more than 12 hours later in Tennessee with their father, who was arrested for resisting police during a traffic stop, police said.

The three were found Sunday afternoon after an off-duty police dispatcher in La Follette, Tenn., noticed a Jeep Wrangler fitting the description of the vehicle the father was believed to be driving, Kokomo Police Lt. Don Whitehead said.

Indiana State Police had issued an Amber Alert in an attempt to find the girls, and said the father may have been headed to Tennessee. The alerts were posted on ARTIMIS billboards in Greater Cincinnati, among other places

The off-duty dispatcher contacted local police, who stopped the Jeep. The driver, Kenneth Floyd Housley, 36, was arrested for resisting authorities and was being questioned by La Follette police, Whitehead said.

The girls, 12-year-old Brooke Michelle Reese and 11-year-old Kaitlyn Marie Reese, appeared to have been unharmed, Whitehead said.

"The children are fine, and are in police custody being interviewed," Whitehead said.

Police did not immediately have details on the circumstances of their trip from Kokomo to La Follette, in northeastern Tennessee about 30 miles north of Knoxville.

Housley was believed to be the biological father of the younger girl and a stepfather to the older girl, Whitehead said.

Before the three were discovered, police said the girls apparently had been taken by Housley at about 3 a.m. in Kokomo, about 60 miles north of Indianapolis. Authorities offered few details on the circumstances, but said the girls were "believed to be in extreme danger."

Police said duct tape, a hunting knife, pillowcases, food, cash, an atlas and a fishing tackle box were missing from the girls' home.

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