Duncan tied up three found slain in Idaho before abducting children

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Eight-year-old Shasta Groene told authorities that a man later identified as a violent sexual predator tied up her family before she and her 9-year-old brother were taken away in a pickup truck, according to court papers released Tuesday.

The affidavit makes no mention of the beating deaths of the abducted children's mother, older brother and mother's boyfriend, or whether the girl witnessed the killings.

Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, of Fargo, N.D., was charged with two first-degree kidnapping counts and ordered held without bail Tuesday.

The intent of the crimes, court documents said, was to rape, seriously injure or commit a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16 years old. Duncan has not been charged with anything other than the kidnapping counts.

Early Saturday, employees and customers spotted the girl eating breakfast with Duncan in Coeur d'Alene.

Authorities on Tuesday continued to wait for DNA test results of human remains found in western Montana that may be those of 9-year-old Dylan, who authorities believe is dead. Those results are expected to take three days.

Duncan has refused to cooperate with authorities in their search for the boy, officials said. Authorities have relied on information from his sister, evidence from Duncan's stolen red Jeep Cherokee and some 100 new tips from the public in the search for the boy.

A gas station and convenience store clerk in the western Montana logging community of about 300 people said she recognized Duncan after seeing his photo.

Jackie Allen, 26, told police Duncan had been a customer several weeks after the children disappeared. Neither of the children were with him at the time, she said.

Authorities believe Shasta may have tried to get patrons at another gas station and convenience store to recognize her, hours before she was found at the Denny's restaurant.

Security camera videotape showed the girl and her alleged kidnapper at the store Friday evening in Kellogg, about 40 road miles east of Coeur d'Alene.

"In the small takes I saw out of that surveillance video, she's walking around, stopping, looking right at the faces of the different patrons there," Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Cameron Conoco owner Ted Beamis told The Associated Press that the girl's alleged abductor, "acted like he didn't have a care in the world" until one point during his visit.

"He was walking around. You could see him kind of watching her. One time in the store she's wandering up and down the aisles, and he kind of loses track of her, and you can see him looking around in a panic."

Associated Press Writer Sarah Cooke in St. Regis, Mont., contributed to this report.

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