A 21-year-old sexual assault suspect accused of kidnapping three children over the span of two days was taken into custody Thursday, police in Wichita, Kansas, said.
All three children have been located and are safe, Wichita Police Department spokesperson Chad Ditch told reporters during a Thursday news conference.
A teenage girl reported being kidnapped on Wednesday evening by a “biracial male driving a blue vehicle” who attempted to sexually assault her in the car, Ditch said. The teen was let go by the suspect and reported the incident to a family member. Authorities began looking into the case and investigated throughout the night, Ditch added.
Ditch described the victim as being in her “early teens.”
Less than 24 hours later, two elementary school students – a boy and a girl – left their home by foot shortly before 9 a.m. to go to school. The children were allegedly kidnapped by a man in a blue vehicle who would go on to drop off the boy shortly after, police said.
The young girl was also located safe a short time later, according to Ditch.
Officers who were patrolling the area spotted the suspect’s vehicle and after attempting to stop him, a brief pursuit by foot occurred. He was eventually taken into custody without incident, Ditch said.
Authorities did not identify the suspect by name.
“Both these cases are still in their early stages,” Ditch added. “We have investigators out here still actively investigating both incidents. We do strongly believe that the suspect that we have in custody is the suspect involved in both of these cases.”
Authorities are continuing to investigate potential charges, Ditch said. Though the children are safe, the experience was “extremely traumatizing,” he said.