Suspect held in alleged Pope County child abduction

The suspect in an Amber Alert issued in Pope County on Thursday was arrested at his home in Big Lake and is in custody pending a formal charge of kidnapping. According to the Pope County Sheriff's Office, the child was reported missing early Thursday and authorities throughout the day came to believe the toddler had been abducted. The child was located and returned to the custody of his mother.

Amber Alert
West Central Tribune graphic / Kit Grode

GLENWOOD — The Pope County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man for the alleged abduction of a 2-year-old child that triggered an AMBER Alert on March 17.

The suspect, age unknown, of Big Lake, has been booked into the Kandiyohi County Jail in Willmar on probable cause for kidnapping. According to a news release, formal charges were expected to be filed later Friday.

The West Central Tribune does not generally name suspects until they have appeared in court.

Acting on information developed through the investigation, the suspect was arrested by Big Lake police officers outside of his home shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday following a brief struggle. According to a news release issued Friday, investigators located the child after receiving a 911 call that the child was in the garage of the caller’s Paynesville residence. The child was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for evaluation and is currently in the custody of his mother.

According to an earlier statement from the Pope County Sheriff's Office, the child was reported missing near Westport early Thursday morning. Throughout the day investigators developed information and came to believe the toddler had been abducted, and the Amber Alert was issued Thursday afternoon.


According to the Sheriff's Office, this is an active and ongoing investigation. More information will become available in the coming days as the investigation progresses.

The Pope County Sheriff’s Office has been assisted in its investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, West Central Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, Glenwood Police Department, Starbuck Police Department, FBI, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Big Lake Police Department and Alexandria Police Department.

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