Locals and law enforcement work together to close case | PostIndependent.com

Locals and law enforcement work together to close case

When the Amber Alert came through on phones across the state last month, four Rifle citizens sprang to action, and their efforts helped lead law enforcement in finding the kidnapped 12-year-old girl and locating her abductor.

The all-night manhunt ended on Friday morning on April 27, after Jody Kyle Haskin, 47, who was wanted by Grand Junction police for child abduction, shot himself. The girl was safe and placed in police custody.

Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein began last Wednesday's City Council meeting by honoring and recognizing the four locals who helped with the case: Ben Wood, Sean Kemberling, Ashley Cid and Jason Miller.

He said they were all instrumental in finding the victim and locating the suspect.

"What many of us don't know is that these citizens were pivotal in bringing this case to an end," he began. "Without their help I'm not so sure how quickly things would have come together."

He said that several of his officers were working 20 hours straight and were already stretched thin, but "these citizens paid attention and saw things, let us know what they saw, and it allowed us to bring this to a resolution for us. I am very thankful to all of you."

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Each of them were given a certificate and small token for their efforts.

"This is the community we work in and we've got to make it safe and keep it safe," Miller said after the ceremony. "I think we all prefer to work in a safe environment.

Klein praised how important it is for police and the public to work together.

"People are the police and the police are the people," he added.

Haskin was wanted in the abduction of his 12-year-old stepdaughter in Grand Junction on Wednesday, April 25. After being traced to Rifle, police from multiple agencies searched overnight for Haskin along the Colorado River and Interstate 70 corridor in the Rifle area.

Officers were searching the area that following Friday, when they encountered him near Enterprise Court east of Wal-Mart, where he decided to take his own life.

each citizen played their role:

Ben Wood – Klein said Wood was manning the cameras and observed the victim eventually come into Wal-Mart and spotted her standing in line.

“It was not readily apparent that was the young lady,” he added. “He did a great job spotting her, determining who she was, and calling us and we were able to take custody of her and get her out of a dangerous situation.”

Sean Kemberling – Kemberling works asset protection for Wal-mart and spent many hours going back and viewing video. Klein said he worked back from when they knew the suspect and victim were on property and gathered good intelligence for police.

“He helped us narrow down some things about the case,” he added. “It was very helpful.”

Ashley Cid – According to Klein, Cid found the suspect inside of Wal-Mart and actually talked to him.

“She waited for him to leave Wal-mart and called communications,” he said. “She gave the most calm description and direction of travel that I have heard in a long time, which led us to area he was.

Jason Miller – Miller was working at a coffee shop at the time of the kidnapping and noticed something off about a car parked in his parking lot. He brought an officer to the area, which led to valuable information for the case.