New state, federal charges against child kidnapping suspect

Friday, November 16, 2012
Jeffrey Dean Shelton

DONIPHAN, Mo. -- Accused kidnapper and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Dean Shelton was charged Wednesday with burglarizing a Ripley County home where he allegedly took his 5-year-old victim, and federal authorities Thursday added three charges of production and possession of child pornography against him.

Shelton, 45, was charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery, both felonies, by Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Miller.

Court documents say that Oct. 24, Shelton is accused of entering an empty home in Fairdealing, Mo., owned by Curtis D. Whitlock and allegedly forcibly stealing car keys and a cellphone from Whitlock.

Shelton also has been charged in Ripley County with felony first-degree child molestation and felony armed criminal action for his alleged actions involving a 10-year-old Qulin, Mo., girl, which also led to the federal charges.

Four days before Shelton allegedly kidnapped a Butler County girl, investigators say he kidnapped the Qulin, Mo., girl at knife point and took her to Ripley County, where he is accused of sexually abusing her and taking explicit photographs of her. Authorities believe Shelton also took the Qulin girl to a trailer on Whitlock's property.

Shelton allegedly dropped the girl off at a Qulin bank, and she walked home from there.

Federal authorities announced late Thursday they were charging Shelton with three counts of child pornography, stemming from the Qulin girl's abduction. Shelton is accused of making child pornography with a cellphone and storing it on a laptop. The pornography charges carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.

Shelton, who has been held without bond in the Butler County jail since his Oct. 24 arrest, is charged with felony child kidnapping, felony first-degree burglary and felony second-degree domestic assault and felonious restraint in Butler County.

Shelton is accused of kidnapping the second girl in Poplar Bluff, Mo., early Oct. 24 and assaulting and restraining his girlfriend, Christa Whitlock, when she allegedly found the girl in Shelton's home.

The investigation into the Butler County girl's abduction led authorities to Ripley County, where Shelton is accused of assaulting his girlfriend's father, Curtis Whitlock, after he allegedly found Shelton with the girl in his trailer.

Southeast Missourian managing editor Matt Sanders contributed to this report.

Pertinent address:

Doniphan, Mo.

Fairdealing, Mo.

Qulin, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: