BEMIDJI, MINN. (NBC) — New details in the case of a Minnesota girl who was kidnapped in June from the home of a woman who was babysitting her reveal that the babysitter may have helped to plan the entire thing.
The 5-year-old Bemidji girl was kidnapped in June from the home of a woman who had been watching her.
The case began with a fire that investigators believed to be arson. Inside they found the body of Melissa Norby underneath a mattress with her arms bound. Missing was the 5-year-old girl who Norby was babysitting.
The young girl’s mother was one of Norby’s best friends.
The next morning, police found the girl alive and arrested Jacob Kinn, a sex offender who – according to search warrants – admitted to having a relationship with Norby.
The warrant filed this week revealed surprising details about Norby’s role in the lead-up to the kidnapping.
According to the warrant, detectives reviewed texts between Norby and Kinn. According to the detective, the two of them had been “apparently attempting to acquire the child for the purpose of sexually assaulting her.”
The report says that Norby and Kinn discussed possible kidnapping scenarios such as Norby claiming to police she was assaulted by a stranger who snatched the girl.
According to the warrant, Kinn told police in an interrogation that a year and a half earlier, he and Norby had sex while the young girl was present in the room.
The warrant also indicates that, in the month leading up to the abduction, Kinn searched the Internet for how to get horse tranquilizers, pediatric sedation, and “roofies.”
Kinn has not yet been charged with arson, murder, or sexual assault, although the 11 search warrants filed so far state that police are looking into all of the additional charges.
Search warrants say that one witness said Kinn smelled of gasoline the morning after the fire. But so far, kidnapping is the only charge he faces.
The family of the young girl says they learned several weeks ago about the babysitter helping to plot the kidnapping.