ELLIS COUNTY — Law enforcement authorities are investigating a suspect in connection with an alleged child abduction.
Just before 5:30 p.m. Thursday, a Grand Junction Police officer was dispatched to a report of a runaway. The reporting party stated that when she arrived home from work that afternoon, she discovered that her 15-year-old son, as well as his belongings, were missing from the hotel at which they had been staying, according to a media release from Grand Junction Police,
The reporting party spoke with other occupants of the hotel to ask if they had any information. She discovered that another occupant of the hotel, who she was familiar with, had possibly left the area that day, telling staff he was considering a return to the Front Range, where he had family. An additional witness claimed to have seen the 15-year-old male get into a vehicle, described as a red SUV, with the other male earlier in the day and leave the hotel. The tenant, identified as Samuel Jumps, age 27, was discovered to have a felony warrant out of Arapahoe County for a sex offender registration violation.
Continued attempts to contact the 15-year-old via his cell phone were unsuccessful. The victim was entered into a national database as a missing and endangered person as the investigation continued.
It was determined that Jumps drives a red Mercury Mountaineer, and registration and license plate information was obtained. The registered owner of that vehicle was contacted and stated that he had spoken to Jumps earlier in the day, and that Jumps told him that he was planning to travel to South Carolina.
A detective with the Grand Junction Police Department was able to make contact with Jumps via his cell phone. Jumps denied knowing where the 15-year-old boy was, and stated he was currently driving through the state of Kansas. Through numerous conversations, Jumps continued to deny having any knowledge as to where the boy was, and eventually agreed to drive to the nearest law enforcement agency to let officers search his car.
During this time, another detective was able to reach the victim via his cell phone, and determined that he was in Ellis and was unharmed. The boy was contacted and picked up by local law enforcement. Meanwhile, Jumps was contacted at a gas station in Hays by law enforcement who were aware of this investigation and had a description of the vehicle in which Jumps was suspected to be traveling. Jumps was detained and ultimately held on a GJPD warrant for kidnapping and false reporting to authorities.
“We commend our officers and detectives for their diligent work in locating the victim in a matter of hours, so that he could be reunited with his family. We’re grateful for the information shared by witnesses, as well as the cooperation of law enforcement agencies across state lines who assisted in bringing this incident to resolution,” the GJPD said in a news release.