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Babysitter killed in trailer fire had discussed girl's abduction with suspect, warrant says


The woman killed in a trailer fire in June had discussed abducting the 5-year-old she was babysitting with the suspect in the girl's kidnapping, according to new court documents.

A search warrant submitted by Beltrami County revealed more details of the relationship between Jacob Kinn, the man charged with kidnapping the girl, and Melissa Norby.

Norby was babysitting the girl at her home in Hillcrest Manor Trailer Park the night of the fire. Norby's body was found after the fire was extinguished; both her hands and feet were bound.

The girl was found alive the next day at a property belonging to one of Kinn's family members near Big Fork, about 80 miles away from Bemidji. Her hands and feet were also bound, and she had injuries consistent with being sexually assaulted.

The warrant reveals that during the interrogation, Kinn admitted having a previous relationship with Norby, and about 18 months earlier the two of them had sex while the girl was nearby.

Later text messages sent between Norby and Kinn – who had recently rekindled a romantic relationship – suggest she was at least aware of plans to abduct the 5-year-old.

Here's what it says:

"While reviewing the cell phone examination report, Your Affiant also observed that there were numerous photos of apparent child pornography retrieved from Jacob Kinn’s cell phone, that there were sexually explicit text messages between Norby and Kinn apparently referring to the five year old girl who was abducted.

In reviewing the text messages between Kinn and Norby, Your affiant observed that Kinn and Norby had apparently been attempting to acquire the child for the purpose of sexually assaulting her and that Norby and Kinn also discussed details pertaining to possible scenarios in which Norby and Kinn may abduct the child at which time Norby would report to law enforcement that she was assaulted by an unknown individual leading up to the child being abducted."

The search warrant is seeking information tied to Google accounts registered to Kinn's phone, including full location history.

Kinn, who has a previous conviction for child pornography, has been charged with kidnapping and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities have yet to file charges against him in relation to the fire that killed Norby, despite previously saying he could face charges.

KARE 11 notes that the fact 11 search warrant applications have been submitted shows investigators are clearly looking to file additional charges.

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