Technology utilized to find missing girl
By Phillip Bock Editor TownNews.com | 0 comments
A Lancaster, Ky. man was arrested in St. Croix County Dec. 7 and charged with a felony after allegedly picking up a 15-year-old runaway in Osceola.
According to the Polk County Sheriff's report and a witness account, truck driver John Rowe, 38, picked up the juvenile runaway at the Subway in Osceola at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.
After being notified of the abduction, Osceola Police checked area cameras and found a truck matching the witness's description on the video feed of an ATM camera across the street from Subway. Visible in the video was the logo for the trucking company, Osceola Police Chief Tim Lauridsen said.
Police were able to locate contact information for the trucking company via the internet. Once contacted, the trucking company was able to track the truck via GPS.
The company also confirmed that one of their trucks, driven by Rowe, made an unauthorized stop in the Osceola area around 9 p.m. and noted that no other trucks were in the area at the time.
The trucking company told officers that the truck was currently in Minnesota picking up cargo, but that Rowe's proposed route would take him back through Wisconsin on his way to the truck's destination in Louisiana. Officers received real-time information via GPS from the truck while it was in route to its next destination.
St. Croix County deputies were in position to stop the truck and detain Rowe when the truck crossed into Wisconsin from Minnesota
Rowe was taken into custody and transported to Polk County. The trucking company also informed officers that, should the girl be found in the truck, Rowe's job with the company would immediately be terminated.
Lauridsen said technology and good police work played a pivotal role in finding the girl.
"The use of technology, which was unheard of just years ago, allowed law enforcement to intervene before the child was taken very far," Lauridsen said. "She's very lucky and the Sheriff's deputies and local law enforcement officers who participated are to be commended for their resourcefulness."
Rowe made an initial appearance before Judge Jeffery Anderson on Friday, Dec. 9 where a $25,000 cash bond was set. According to court records, Rowe entered a not guilty plea during a pre-trial Wednesday, Dec. 14.
A final pre-trial hearing has been scheduled on Feb. 24, 2012 with a trial by jury scheuled for March 7, 2012. Rowe remains in custody at this time.
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*The image of the male you see is the actual truck driver who literally, took away my self confidence...
since this thing happened, I've been different. He coaxed me into meeting him, though I said no multiple times.
The sheriff said I was very lucky...but...I didn't want to be found. I ran away, rather than killing myself, though I've tried that too.
I have accustomed learned helplessness, and so I just move on...