Family, investigators speak out about 5-year-old's abduction | News
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS)- Investigators and Abigail's family continue to piece together the details of Wednesday's abduction.
Deputy Police Chief Jeff Rolland says investigators have found images on
Shelton's cell phone depicting sexual assaults against children.
Police said on Thursday they are concerned Shelton may have other victims, but they remain thankful Abigail is okay.
Abigail's mother, Eva Crawford says she's keeping Abigail home for a few days. Her mom says she's doing well. This morning she watched TV and ate snacks surrounded by family.
Crawford says her daughter is still shaken up, but doing well. She says they're trying to focus on happy things instead of the hours they spent apart yesterday.
Crawford says Shelton is a complete stranger to her family. According to investigators, they believe Shelton entered the home through a window and took Abigail early in the morning while she slept on the couch.
Crawford says she's so thankful to the community that helped search and get the word out.
"Yes she's doing fine," said Crawford, Abigail's mother. "She's been playing this morning and she's been doing good. I just want to thank everybody. It means a lot to me. And, I'm just really glad that she made it back to me safe and sound. And, I just want to let everyone know I appreciate everything."
More is being revealed about what happened early Wednesday morning.
According to a probable cause statement, Shelton assaulted a woman before he ran off with Abigail.
Records show the woman saw the little girl in the home, and then Shelton grabbed her and beat her.
And, according to court papers, Shelton then grabbed Abigail and drove off.
Police say hours before Shelton took Abigail from her home while she was sleeping on the couch.
They believe he had cased the neighborhood for several days.
Police say they found pictures of Abigail and other potential victims on Shelton's phone.
And, Poplar Bluff Police say it's very rare for an abduction involving a stranger and a child to have a happy ending like this.
"And I said, let me talk to her and he said no," said Deputy Frankie Casteel. "And I said, sir I got to make sure she's okay. I asked her what her name was and she said Abigail. And I said baby girl are you okay? And she went to laughing and said, I'm okay, but I want to go home, but don't know where I live."
"And I spotted the suspect's vehicle in traffic waiting to turn," said Butler County Coroner Jim Akers. "He was back at the stop sign behind four cars waiting. I pulled in front of him and started to give him orders to put the vehicle in park and show me his hands. It just happened that I happened to be the first of many that pulled in there. He was within minutes of being caught no matter what."
"I can tell you that I've been a police officer for 28 years," said Dep. Police Chief Jeff Rolland. "Rarely have I seen evil, but when you look at Jeffery Shelton, he is the face of evil. This is not his first victim, not his second victim. He has three victims in the state of Texas."
Police say to expect more on the investigation in the next few days. Right now more charges against Shelton are being pursued.
Shelton is due in court again November 15. He was put behind bars and no bond was set.
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