PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than 1,200 miles away, officials tracked a 31-year-old man down to South Dakota with a teen girl.
“I want to thank all the public support and prayers during this extremely difficult time,” said Alexandria Sewell’s mother Jaime during a press conference.
For 10 days, Jaime Sewell did not know where her daughter was.
Alexandria Kaitlynn Sewell is only 13 years old, but on March 28, she left her home at the Penn Court Apartments in Clarion at 2 a.m.
Police believe that she went willingly with Joshua Baker of Leeper. Baker is 31 years old and married with two children. Baker is a cousin of Sewell’s mother’s fiancée.
“At that time we received information from interviews that these two individuals were in a relationship,” says Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron.
But whether she went voluntarily or not known. Sewell is a minor and Baker is charged with kidnapping.
“Obviously there was some pre-planning in this,” Aaron said.
According to Aaron, Baker and his wife Kim showed up at a Ford dealership to look for a car the day before he and Alexandria took off.
Dealership Manager, Dave Eggleton, described what happened next.
“The salesperson went to go get the keys, the wife had went to the restroom and when the salesperson came back out, Mr. Baker was pulling out of the parking lot – and his wife was left here,” he said.
Investigators had an idea that the teenager and Baker were heading for South Dakota, says Aaron.
“We learned that that’s where Mr. Baker had spent a large amount of time in his youth,” he said.
On April 4, police got a tip.
“We got a lucky break from a very observant young lady who worked in an optometrist’s office,” Aaron said.
That office was in Rapid City, S.D. In the criminal complaint, the woman describes a young girl and older man coming in holding hands and making an appointment for an eye exam, they told her they were sightseeing and were brother and sister.
The woman wrote down the license plate.
“She didn’t drop it there, she got on the internet,” Aaron said.
Finding the missing persons bulletins, she contacted police in Clarion and law enforcement in South Dakota took over.
Last Saturday they caught up with the couple.
“At a Dairy Queen in Martin, S.D.,” Aaron said.
Alexandria’s mother was very grateful to police and had only one request.
“At this time, I wish to ask the media please respect my family’s privacy,” Sewell said.
Joshua baker is in FBI custody and most likely facing federal charges of kidnapping and taking a minor across state lines, additional charges are possible.
Alexandria Sewell is in temporary protective custody.
Both are still in South Dakota.