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NEW INFO: Rape, Kidnapping Suspect Arraigned on 9 Counts

By: Lou Pickney; Kristen Schneider; Andrew Colegrove; Amanda Barren; Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Lou Pickney; Kristen Schneider; Andrew Colegrove; Amanda Barren; Olivia Fecteau Email

UPDATE 9/27/13 @ 12 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A Jackson, Ohio, man has pleaded not guilty to a 9-count indictment in connection with the alleged raped and kidnapping of a 6-year-old girl.

On Wednesday the prosecutor's office, along with the Ohio Attorney General's Office announced that a Jackson County Grand Jury indicted Zachary Dunn, 30, on three counts of kidnapping, two counts of abduction, one count of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of felonious assault.

Dunn pleaded not guilty to all the charges during his arraignment in Jackson County Common Pleas court Friday morning.

Dunn’s bond remains at $500,000, 10% cash.

Prosecutors tell WSAZ.com Dunn asked that his bond be reduced. The judge denied the request.

Prosecutors say the charges stem back to July 26 when Dunn took the girl from her home on North Chestnut Street around 1:30 a.m. She was found 14 hours later about seven miles away from her home.

According to a press release from the Ohio Attorney General, the kidnapping charges include specifications that Dunn is a sexually violent predator and that he committed the kidnapping offenses with a sexual motivation.

If convicted on all counts, Dunn could face a maximum of life in prison without parole.

Due to the sexual nature of the charge, WSAZ.com is not releasing the victim's name

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/26/13 @ 12:15 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A man has been indicted on multiple charges in connection with a kidnapping of a 6-year-old girl.

Ohio AG Mike Dewine and Prosecutor Justin Lovett announced Wednesday that a Jackson County Grand Jury indicted Zachary Dunn, 30, on three counts of kidnapping, two counts of abduction, rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition and felonious assault.

The charges stem back to an incident on July 26. Investigators say he took the little girl from her home on North Chestnut Street around 1:30 a.m. She was found 14 hours later about seven miles away from her home.

According to a press release from Dewine's office, the kidnapping charges include specifications that Dunn is a sexually violent predator and that he committed the kidnapping offenses with a sexual motivation.

"This defendant grabbed the young victim from her home and terrorized her until she managed to get away," said Attorney General DeWine. "The victim is a brave little girl, and we plan to do all we can to get justice."

"Today's indictment comes as the result of the extraordinary efforts of local and state law enforcement to bring this child home," said Prosecutor Lovett. "We are grateful to all of the first responders who helped put this suspect in custody."

Members of Attorney General DeWine's Crimes Against Children Critical Response Team assisted the Jackson Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, and multiple other law enforcement and public safety agencies in locating the child and suspect.

Prosecutors with Attorney General DeWine's Special Prosecutions Section are assisting the Jackson County Prosecutor with the case. If convicted on all of the offenses, Dunn could face a maximum of life in prison without parole.

Dunn is expected to be arraigned on the charges Friday morning.

Due to the sexual nature of the charge, WSAZ.com is not releasing the victim's name.



UPDATE 8/13/13 @ 10:30 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – The home of a man accused of abducting a little girl has been destroyed in a fire.

The State Fire Marshal's Office in Ohio says the home in the 6300 block of State Route 776 in Jackson County caught fire early Saturday morning.

Michael Duchesne with the State Fire Marshal's Office tells WSAZ.com that Zach Dunn lived in that home prior to his arrest last month.

Dunn is charged with abducting a 6-year-old from her home in Jackson, Ohio about 1:30 a.m. on July 26.

She was found 14 hours later at a home seven miles away from her own.

The State Fire Marshal's Office says the fire where Dunn had been living started in the kitchen area. They are still trying to determine the cause.

The house was a total loss.

They are asking that if anyone has information, call the State Fire Marshal's Office at 1-800-589-2728.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 8/5/13 @ 3 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The case of a man charged with abducting a 6-year-old girl has been sent to a grand jury.

A preliminary hearing for Zachary Dunn, 30, of Jackson, Ohio, happened Monday in Jackson County Municipal Court. Dunn is charged with child abduction.

Investigators say Dunn took the little girl from her home along North Chestnut Street about 1:30 a.m. July 26. She was found 14 hours later at a home about 7 miles away.

One of the first people to testify Monday was Jackson Police Department Sgt. Scott Conley. He described the girl's eyes as being swollen and her forehead bleeding.

"It appeared to me that she had been beaten with several punches," Conley said.

Conley testified that a Carhartt jacket similar to what Dunn was seen wearing in surveillance video from a convenience store was found in the cemetery, which is right next door to the home where the girl was found.

The young girl's father also testified that Dunn had been at their home earlier in the evening to pick up a CD player. Dunn told police he had not left his home that day.

Dunn came back over to the house around 1 a.m. that morning to pay for the CD player. That was the same time the father had left his home to help his son change a tire on a car.

A 16-year-old family friend was staying with the little girl while her father was gone. He testified that he asked the girl to stay inside the home while he got a drink but she ignored his request.

During his arraignment last week, Dunn's bond was set at $500,000. He remains in the Jackson County Correctional Facility

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/30/13 @ 10:10 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Bond has been set for the man charged with abducting a 6-year-old girl last week.

Zachary Dunn, 30, of Jackson was arraigned in Jackson County, Ohio Municipal Court, Tuesday morning. Dunn is charged with child abduction.

Investigators say Dunn took a six-year-old from her home on North Chestnut Street around 1:30 a.m. Friday. She was found 14 hours later at a home about seven miles away.

Dunn's bond has been set at $500,000. He remains in the Jackson County Correctional Facility

Dunn's preliminary hearing is set for next week.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 7/29/13
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- After a judge decided a little girl and her three siblings would remain in the custody of the state for the time being, the scene inside and outside the courtroom on Monday was heated and emotional.

The girl's parents were at the hearing. The mother arrived with jailers and the father showed up with a small group of friends.

The hearing lasted just a few minutes, as the judge decided the little girl and her siblings would not be returned to her parents at this point. The children are 17, 16, and 8 years old.

After the decision, family members who had been outside the courtroom began yelling, crying and shoving. It was not clear who was involved, but police broke up the situation. Prior to the hearing, the little girl's aunt and cousin had said they hoped the judge would place the children with family members, rather than in foster care.

The little girl's father said before the hearing that he hoped he would get his kids back, but he said he understood why he was not able to get them back right away because of the investigation. He also stated that he and his wife did not have any trouble with alcohol or drugs, but that they did have marital problems and had fought in front of the children, which is why they were taken away.

He also said that he knew Zachary Dunn, the man charged with kidnapping the little girl. He said Dunn had been over to his house earlier that day, and he had sold him a CD player for his car. He said he considered Dunn a friend.

There will be another hearing Aug. 22 for the family's charges in the complaint by the state and family services.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/27/13 @ 5:53 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – Family members and people in the Jackson community are relieved that a six-year-old girl has been found alive. Now, though, there are questions surrounding the little girl’s disappearance.

The little girl was missing for 14 hours Friday. She was last seen at her home on North Chestnut Street in Jackson around 1:30 a.m. She was found about seven miles away from her home at about 3 Friday afternoon.

Zach Dunn, 30, of Jackson County, has been arrested and charged with the abduction. Family members said investigators told them the girl had two black eyes, a broken nose and a possible injury to her collarbone, in addition to possible other injuries.

“Living in a nightmare,” a cousin of the victim said, of the 14 hours she was missing. “It was a dream you just wanted to wake up from.”

He and his family said they feared the worst.

“To see what that baby went through, every time I closed my eyes last night, I thought of her and see her scream, I couldn't sleep,” another family member said.

“Yesterday we had a number of prayers answered. Everybody was certainly praying this girl could be found,” Jackson Mayor Randy Heath said.

Now, there are also questions about where the little girl will go once she’s released from the hospital. According to investigators, Jackson County Children Services will place her in foster care. A family member said he had previously been subpoenaed to testify at a court hearing in August to decide whether the girl’s parents should be able to keep their children.

“I don't want to see my aunt and uncle lose their children. I know they love their children,” a family member said. “At the same time, the environment they're living in isn’t very safe and suitable for them right now.”

The family member says the little girl's parents have had trouble with drugs and often fight in front of their children. He said now that the six-year-old has been found, there will be an emergency placement hearing on Monday to determine whether she will go into foster care or be placed with family.

“Do I want to see them be placed with complete strangers? No. I would love to keep these children in our family so they can still be able to see their children,” the family member said.

Jackson County Municipal Court records show that both parents have criminal records. The mother has been charged with child endangering four times, in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. All of the charges were eventually dismissed.

According to family members, the parents knew Zach Dunn, the man charged with the kidnapping. Dunn has a criminal record of mostly traffic violations and misdemeanors. Police say they expect to file further charges against him.

Dunn is lodged at the Jackson County jail on $50,000 bond.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/27/13 @ 10:09 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Jackson Police have arrested 30-year-old Zach Dunn in connection to the disappearance of a six-year-old girl.

The little girl was missing for 14 hours Friday. She was last seen at her home on North Chestnut Street in Jackson around 1:30 a.m.

She was found about seven miles away from her home at about 3 Friday afternoon. She was at a home on Oakland Road in Liberty Township. A woman who recognized her picture called police.

Dunn was arrested around 8 p.m. Friday. Police picked him up at a home on State Route 776 in Jackson County.

According to a news release from the Jackson Police Department he was charged with abduction shortly after midnight.

Dunn's bond is set at $50,000 . He is in the Jackson County Jail.

According to the news release the investigation into her abduction will continue.

The little girl was kept at a hospital overnight for observation. According to police she was injured during the 14-hours she was missing. The extent of those injuries are unknown.

According to the news release "Authorities are still investigating to determine if the girl had been hurt in any other way."

She is expected to be released from the hospital Saturday. She will then be placed in foster care.

It is not clear right now if Dunn knew the girl prior to this incident.

UPDATE 7/26/13 @ 8 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- An intense search for a little girl who went missing has ended, but the investigation may be far from over.

It was an enormous sense of relief for friends and family when she was found alive.

Jackson Mayor Randy Heath says the 6-year-old showed up a little before 4 p.m. Friday outside a woman's home in Liberty Township about 7 miles from Jackson. The woman called 911.

"This is a dream come true," Heath said. "This is prayers being answered."

Police took her to the hospital. They wouldn’t give details on her condition, but Heath said she was in “relatively good shape.”

Investigators say they've gotten different accounts of what happened when the girl was reported missing about 1:30 a.m. Friday from her home on North Chestnut Street in Jackson.

Investigators are working to find out what happened to the girl in the time she was missing and who she was with.

"Obviously there are people, they want to know how this girl got out there," Heath said.

Before the girl was found, her father said he believed there was no way she would have just wandered off.

"This girl is scared of the dark,” the father said. “She can't even sleep in her bedroom without having her TV on."

The family and community are relieved the search is over, and the girl is alive, but they’re still anxiously awaiting answers.

"Somebody took that child,” the father said. “Somebody knows who took that child.”

The mayor tells us the child likely will remain in the custody of Child Protective Services as this investigation continues.

The girl's mother is in jail on an unrelated charge.



UPDATE 7/26/13 @ 4:15 p.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A missing girl has been found safe in Jackson County, Ohio.

Jackson Mayor Randy Heath says the six-year-old was found just before 4 p.m. at a home in Liberty Township, about 5 miles outside Jackson city limits.

Mayor Heath says the girl has been taken to the hospital.

Details about how the girl got to the home have not been released yet.

We have a crew at the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY: 7/26/13 @ 7 a.m.
JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Police are investigating the disappearance of a six-year-old girl last seen about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

The little girl was last seen at her home in the 200 block of North Chestnut Street in Jackson, Ohio. Investigators say they aren't sure if she was abducted or a runaway. Police tell WSAZ.com that there are "very odd circumstances" surrounding the girl's disappearance.

Members of several emergency and law enforcement agencies are searching for her, including police K9 units, while police are interviewing friends and family for more information.

We have a crew heading to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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