GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE: Raeanna Rosencrans was found safe Thursday night and appears to be physically unharmed according to police. On Friday morning, the man suspected of kidnapping her was also found.
Raeanna was found at the Walmart in Rifle just before 10 p.m. As a precaution, she was taken to the hospital after she was located.
Her stepfather, the man suspected of kidnapping her and a wanted sex offender, was found Friday around 7:30 a.m. near the same Walmart. The Garfield County Sheriff's Office said he shot himself rather than surrendering to law enforcement.
While his condition is unknown at this time, the Rifle Police Department posted to Twitter late Friday morning. They stated that while they were searching for a wanted person, they found an unnamed armed man. After ordering the armed man to drop his weapon, he shot and killed himself. That person's name will be released later from the Garfield County Coroner's Office.
ORIGINAL STORY: Grand Junction police are hoping for the public's help in locating a missing 12-year-old girl. An AMBER Alert was issued at 10:10 p.m. Wednesday.
A special tip line was set up Thursday night, anyone with information that could be valuable is encouraged to call 970-549-5656. Anyone with urgent information, such as a recent sighting or known location, should call 911.
On Thursday at about 3:45 p.m. CBS Denver was reporting the missing girl's stepfather, also a registered sex offender, was named a prime suspect rather than just a person of interest.
Police posted a picture of 12-year-old Raeanna Rosencrans on social media at about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Police said she was last seen getting into a green "boxy" sedan in the area of D 1/2 Road and Larry's Meadow at about 3 p.m. after getting off a school bus in Grand Junction. According to witnesses, she willingly got in the vehicle. Police said Thursday that the vehicle was found in Rifle. Authorities are working to figure out how the car got there, when it arrived and who was driving.
She was last seen wearing black jeans, a black shirt with white designs, Adidas shoes and carrying a black and white backpack. She is described as 5'1", 137 pounds, with blue eyes and light brown or dark blonde hair.
Police says Raeanna is developmentally delayed, but high functioning. She does require medication.
On late Thursday morning, police released updated information about a strong person-of-interest. He's been identified as 47-year-old Jody Haskin. He is Raeanna's stepfather but has no parental rights. His status was upgraded to the prime suspect Thursday afternoon.
Haskin is described as a white male standing 6 feet tall, weighing 215 pounds. He is balding with brown eyes and glasses.
He is a registered sex offender and currently has a warrant for his arrest for sex assault on a child. Police say it's not clear at this time how Haskin is traveling. CBS Denver was reporting authorities believe Haskin is heading toward North Dakota.
Police released the following statement in part on Thursday:
There is no doubt that a case like this is incredibly alarming and frightening to everyone involved, as well as the community affected by the incident. We are committed to following up on every lead in our efforts to bring Raeanna safely home. The investigation thus far indicates this is not a case of stranger abduction. As with any complex and ongoing case like this one, there will be details that we can’t share, as it’s imperative to protect the integrity of the investigation.
We urge the public to continue to share updates regarding this case and spread the information far and wide, making every attempt to reach anyone who may be able to provide valuable information. We are grateful for the support of the local, state, and federal agencies who are continuing to work with us on this investigation.
On Thursday morning, the school Raeanna attends sent the following message to families:
Dear Grand Mesa Middle School Families:
As many of you know, yesterday afternoon, April 25, 2018, one of our Grand Mesa Middle School students, Raeanne Rosencrans, was reported missing. She was last seen at about 3 p.m. Wednesday in the area of D 1/2 Road and Larry's Meadow. She is 12 years old, 5'1", 137 pounds, with blue eyes and light brown/dark blonde hair. She was last seen wearing black jeans, a black shirt with white designs, Adidas shoes, and carrying a black and white backpack with southwest designs on it. Witnesses said Raeanne was last seen getting into a "boxy" green car with a white male in his late 40s to early 50s, bald, medium build, 5'7" or 5'8", and wearing a green button-down shirt. The man called Raeanna by name.
An Amber Alert was issued at 10 p.m. last night. Law enforcement officers have been working through the night on leads and are continuing their efforts to locate her. At this time, Raeanne is still considered missing.
Grand Mesa teachers read a statement to students this morning informing them that Raeanne is missing. Students are likely to hear rumors about what happened, but rumors can be hurtful and untrue, and spreading any information that is not confirmed by law enforcement is harmful. The information above is all of the information we have at this time.
Parents, students, and staff will experience a range of emotions during this time. Please encourage your child to come to the counseling office at any time if they need to talk. Extra counseling will be available at the school as long as students need it. We will also provide you any updates we receive.
Grand Junction police say if you have any information, call 911 right away. You can also call the Grand Junction Police Department at 970-242-6707.