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Patrol: Mo. girl found safe, sex offender arrested

Thursday, October 25, 2012

COREY MATTHEWS/Daily American Republic Poplar Bluff Police Chief Danny Whiteley (left), Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs (right) and an unidentified deputy escort Jeffrey Shelton to a police car. Shelton was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of kidnapping a 5-year-old girl from her home in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A registered sex offender was charged Wednesday with abducting a 5-year-old girl and restraining his girlfriend with duct tape after she found the child in the man's home.

The Butler County prosecutor charged Jeffrey Dean Shelton, 45, of Poplar Bluff, with four felonies -- felonious restraint, child kidnapping, second-degree domestic assault and first-degree burglary. No attorney is listed for him in online court records. No bail has been set.

The girl and Shelton, who aren't related, were found during a traffic stop at 1:50 p.m. Wednesday along a rural highway about 10 miles south of her hometown of Poplar Bluff, said Poplar Bluff officer Darron Moore.

Moore said Shelton's silver 2001 Nissan Pathfinder was spotted and stopped by officers from the Poplar Bluff department, Butler County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Shelton did not try to flee and did not resist arrest, Moore said.

The girl was taken to a hospital as a precaution, Moore said.

"She was alive and well and appeared to be fine," he said.

The child's mother discovered just before 7 a.m. that she was missing and contacted police. A witness saw the child leaving the area near the home with a man who police said lives about a mile away.

Moore said the girl's family does not know the man and it wasn't clear what would have led him to the child, or how he was able to get her out of the home.

A Poplar Bluff detective wrote in the probable-cause statement that a woman described as Shelton's current or ex-girlfriend went to Shelton's home around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and saw the child sitting in a chair. The woman said that when Shelton came into the front room, he said it was "now her fault that he was going to have to kill her and the child."

The woman told authorities Shelton beat her, knocked her to the floor and bound her hands with duct tape. She said Shelton then made the girl expose herself, according to the probable cause statement.

The woman told authorities she attempted to escape but Shelton caught her on the carport and began beating her. When the beating drew the attention of neighbors, he stopped hitting her, allowing her to run to the house next door. The woman said Shelton then fled with the child in the Nissan, the probable cause statement said.

Sandra Tubb, who lives in the neighboring house, said that the woman fled to her home around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday.

"She was beaten up was what she was and so we called the authorities," Tubb said. "I saw him take off but didn't see the little girl. I was busy on the phone I guess."

Tubb said the man had been living in the home about a year and a half. Tubb said he and the woman lived together "off and on" and that the woman was "in and out."

"I was glad they found her [the girl] and that woman who was involved there she was really worried," Tubb said. "She helped them all she could. She is the one who gave them all the information."

Shelton was convicted in 1990 for the abduction, rape and sodomy of a 12-year-old girl in Fort Hood, Texas.

FBI Special Agent Mark Aldrich said dozens of officers in the air and on the ground were searching in the hours before the girl was found, and police in surrounding states also were on the lookout. Poplar Bluff is near the Missouri-Arkansas border.

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Wow! So glad she was found safe & sound! Even more scary knowing he had those previous charges & it seems like the same thing would have happened to her if not worse.

-- Posted by Zac&Sarah1931 on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 2:40 PM

It's great to actually see an article with a positive ending. I hope the child is OK and that nothing happened in the time she was held captive.

As for the pervert that took her, I would gladly furnish the armament to put him down like the sick animal he is!

-- Posted by malan on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 3:30 PM

An Amber Alert success! Glad the little lady is safe and sound now.

-- Posted by chocolate thread on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 3:42 PM

Thank God the sex offender is in custody and the little girl is back home. Now, let's get the pervert off the streets. Malan is right!

-- Posted by swift on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 3:51 PM

The suspect is a 45-year-old man who was convicted in 1990 for the abduction, rape and sodomy of a 12-year-old girl in Fort Hood, Texas. So why did he get out of jail?

-- Posted by tpworker on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 4:53 PM


Bubba would be a much better choice.

-- Posted by We Regret To Inform U on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 4:59 PM

How lucky is this little girl! Thanks to the witness who saw and reported an accurate description of the kidnapper, and thanks to the deputy who was observant and stopped the man who took this child.

-- Posted by wuzthinking on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 6:50 PM

Estimates of recidivism vary because studies define this term in different ways. One review found recidivism rates of 10% to 50% among pedophiles previously convicted of sexual abuse, although this could include anything from an arrest for any offense to reconviction on a crime against a child. One long-term study of previously convicted pedophiles (with an average follow-up of 25 years) found that one-fourth of heterosexual pedophiles and one-half of homosexual or bisexual pedophiles went on to commit another sexual offense against children.


So, I'm sorry to 3/4 to 1/2 of the pedophiles who would not repeat offend, but you NEVER get out of jail if you are a pedophile!

If we can't protect our children from vermin like this, why bother putting ANYONE in jail.

-- Posted by bbollmann on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 6:27 AM

They should have taken the little girl away & then shot him in the head for trying to get away, because that magat will do it again & the next time someone won't be so lucky like the little girl in texas.

-- Posted by ssinteriors on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 7:11 AM

Good job Butler County sheriff's dept and P.B. police dept!

-- Posted by papermoon on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 10:45 AM

How did the guy get out and how long was he out before this took place did this girl friend know of his past. last will he get out this time?

-- Posted by falcon2412 on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 10:52 AM

There are a lot of really sick people in this world. It scares me how many perverts you hear about on a daily basis touching children. I am all all for castration.

-- Posted by MINT4U on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 3:03 PM

MINT4U I agree, castration with a very dull knife. But unfortunately even then it wouldn't stop them, with their sick demented minds they would find some other way to assault a victim. They are mentally ill and can not be rehabilitated, that has been proven due to those that repeat their crimes after they are allowed out of prison. They are on the hunt from the moment they are let out, and continue to victimize people until they are finally caught again. They should all be dropped in the middle of a desert to fend for themselves, I'm sure the chance of survival would be slim to none.

-- Posted by Sunflower Girl on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 3:54 PM

Agreed, bbollman. The welfare and safety of law-abiding citizens is more important than granting second chances. The odds make the latter unwise.

-- Posted by Mark Rutledge on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 8:35 PM

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