(SHIPROCK, N.M.) — A 27-year-old man has been arrested in the abduction and death of an 11-year-old girl believed to have been kidnapped from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, the FBI announced Tuesday evening.
The Albuquerque office of the FBI tweeted its arrest of Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, New Mexico, for the “abduction and death” of Ashlynne Mike, who went missing Monday and was found dead Tuesday.
Begaye is slated to appear in court Wednesday, according to the FBI’s tweet. It was unknown if he had a lawyer yet.
#FBI announces Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, N.M., arrested in abduction and death of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike. Court appearance tomorrow.
— FBI Albuquerque (@FBIAlbuquerque) May 4, 2016
Ashlynne Mike was last seen Monday around 4 p.m., according to a press release from New Mexico State Police. “An unknown Native American male is believed to have abducted Ashlynn[e],” read the press release. “[The] abductor was last seen in the area of Navajo Route 36 Mile Post 13 at 4 p.m.”
Her parents filed a police report Monday night after Ashlynne and her 9-year-old brother, Ian, went missing, Najavo Nation Public Information Officer Mihio Manus said.
Shortly after the report was filed, a motorist picked up Ian as he walked along the highway and took him to the Shiprock Police Department. Ian told police that a man had taken them toward the Shiprock Pinnacle, but he let Ian out when he came upon a dead end, Manus said. The man then continued on with Ashlynne.
The man later returned without Ashlynne and told Ian to “go home,” Manus said.
Ashlynne’s body was found Tuesday in Shiprock, according to FBI Public Affairs Specialist Frank Fisher.
The FBI described the man suspected of abducting her as a light-skinned Navajo man in his 20s or 30s with short, dark hair. The man has a tear-drop tattoo under his left eye, according to the FBI, and was last seen wearing earrings in both ears, a long, silver chain necklace, gold watch, with a black shirt and blue pants.
The vehicle used in the alleged abduction was a maroon minivan with sliding doors with a luggage rack on the top and no hub caps on the wheels, the FBI said.
“We want to reassure the family that the Navajo Nation Police are conducting a thorough investigation in this case and will be working with the FBI to apprehend the abductor and bring him to justice,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.
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