Idaho girl told police suspect tied up family
Convicted sex offender faces two kidnapping counts
Suspect Joseph E. Duncan appears before First District Magistrate Judge Scott Wayman via video.
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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (CNN) -- Eight-year-old Shasta Groene told investigators she saw Joseph Edward Duncan III tie up members of her family in their home on the day authorities say they were killed, according to an investigative report released Tuesday.
Earlier Tuesday, Duncan was formally charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping. If convicted, Duncan, 42, could face the death penalty or life in prison.
Shasta and her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, disappeared May 16, the same day authorities discovered their mother, 40-year-old Brenda Groene, a brother, 13-year-old Slade, and their mother's 37-year-old boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, bound and bludgeoned to death at the family's home in Coeur d'Alene.
Duncan, a convicted sex offender, was arrested after a Denny's waitress in Coeur d'Alene recognized Shasta when she came into the restaurant with him about 2 a.m. Saturday. (Full story)
Dylan has not been found, but investigators fear human remains found Monday in western Montana may be his.
The report does not say if Shasta witnessed the killings, but it marks the first time anyone has put Duncan at the scene.
Shasta also told investigators she and Dylan were repeatedly raped by Duncan at at least two camp sites in Montana, according to the handwritten report by an investigator recapping an interview with the girl.
"Shasta saw Mr. Duncan molest Dylan," the report says.
The report does not mention Shasta as saying anything about the whereabouts of Dylan.
The interview with Shasta was conducted by Kootenai County Sheriff Sgt. Daniel Mattos and was videotaped, according to the report.
According to the report, Shasta told Mattos she was asleep in her home May 15 when she was awakened by her mother and "went to living room." It says a man forced the "family in ligatures."
She and Dylan were carried and placed into a pickup truck, removed from the property and later transferred to a Jeep, the report says.
"Was same person she was found with, Joseph Duncan," the report alleges.
She told investigators she had never met Duncan before and that he was the only person involved in the kidnappings.
Shasta never used the term rape with investigators, but she provided graphic details about what allegedly occurred.
Meanwhile, Shasta continues to recover at a local hospital. "She's doing very well," said Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger. "Her medical condition is listed as good."
First court appearance
Duncan was subdued when he made his first appearance in Kootenai County Superior Court via a video link Tuesday.
The kidnapping charges include the intent to rape, commit an unnatural act or perform a lewd and lascivious act upon a child under the age of 16.
Judge Scott Wayman told Duncan he could not enter a plea on the felony charges. He is not eligible for bail, and the next court date was not set. A public defender was appointed for him.
Duncan also was charged with being a fugitive from a prior criminal charge in Minnesota. Wayman set bail of $2 million on that count.
Duncan, with dark curly hair and a mustache, wore a yellow jumpsuit and a shackle around his waist.
Asked if he understood the nature of the charges, Duncan replied, "I believe I do, yes."
Asked if he had any questions, he said, "No, none."
Duncan had already been charged in Washington with failure to file a change of address with the state sex offender registry.
In 1980, when he was 16, Duncan was convicted in Washington of raping a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint and served most of a 20-year sentence.
More recently, he was charged in Minnesota with failure to contact his probation officer, a condition of his release on bail after he was charged with child molestation there earlier this year.
The remains found in Montana are "most likely" those of Dylan, Wolfinger said.
He said investigators have determined that the area where the remains were found "is one of the many sites where we believe that Duncan held the Groene children or stayed with the Groene children."
"However, we're not going to make that 100 percent until we get the DNA confirmation later in the week."
In St. Regis, Montana, FBI Special Agent Tim Fuhrman told reporters Duncan and the children "spent some time in the Lolo National Forest over the last seven weeks."
"We continue to process several areas which we believe are crime scenes which are located in an extremely remote part of the forest," Fuhrman said.
Because the sites are in remote areas of the 2-million-acre forest, there are "significant safety concerns," Fuhrman said.
Fuhrman asked people who were in the forest or town in the last seven weeks to "search their memories" and call a tip line (208 446-2292 or 208 446-2293) with any useful information.
Also Tuesday, a convenience store released a surveillance tape that shows Duncan and Shasta Groene arriving in a red SUV, entering the store, making purchases and leaving again.
The video was taken Friday evening in Kellogg, Idaho, about 40 miles east of the Denny's where Shasta was recognized just hours later.
At one point on the tape, the girl walked the aisles of the store by herself while Duncan looked at a newspaper on a different row.
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