Charges: Man kidnapped girl from Bemidji trailer, duct taped her legs


A man accused of taking a 5-year-old girl from a Bemidji home the night of a fatal fire has been charged with kidnapping.

Jacob Kinn, 32, was charged Monday in Beltrami District Court after the girl was found with her legs bound with duct tape in a trailer in rural Big Fork, Minnesota, the criminal complaint says.

According to the charges:

The 5-year-old girl was visiting a family friend, identified in media reports as Melissa Norby, at the Hillcrest Manor Trailer Park at the time the fire was reported, around 3:30 a.m. on June 22.

Norby's body was found in the trailer, but the 5-year-old girl's was not, and police weren't able to locate her.

Investigators learned Norby had recently rekindled a relationship with a man who owned the "Jake's Eats" food truck, which was licensed to Kinn.

Investigators learned Kinn was on probation. (He was convicted of child porn charges in 2013, court records show.) Police contact his probation agent, who told Kinn to come into the police station.

Kinn told his probation agent: "This is probably about that missing girl." He denied having any contact with Norby or the missing girl.

Investigators then learned his phone pinged off a cellular tower in Big Fork the night of June 22 – Kinn's brother owns property in that area.

They went to Kinn's brother's property, where they found the missing girl on the top bunk inside a camper on June 23. She was wearing pajamas, and her legs had been taped together with black duct tape. She didn't have any food, water or bathroom facilities.

The girl suffered "acute injuries on her body and tape marks all over her body."

She told investigators Norby picked her up at her house and drove her to her trailer. Then Norby's friend came to the house and drove her to his house. He then put tape on her mouth, legs and hands.

She went to sleep on his bed and watched "SpongeBob" until it was over. She then said he drove her to the cabin through the grass, and said he wasn't going to come back.

The girl's family never gave Kinn permission to remove her from Norby's house.

If convicted, Kinn faces up to 40 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

KARE 11 says investigators said Kinn could face charges in Norby's death, but charges have not been filed in connection to that case.

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