Police find accused kidnapper

GREENFIELD — A Franklin man suspected of kidnapping two young children was found at the Greenfield Walmart on Monday night after a brief search involving officers from four Indiana counties.

Jacob Richardson, 20, 911 Yandes St., is accused of kidnapping two young children from their mother’s care during a domestic dispute. Greenfield Police found Richardson at Walmart, 1965 N. State St., Greenfield, Monday night with the two missing children, who were unharmed.

Richardson was booked into the Johnson County jail Monday night on six criminal charges, including kidnapping and domestic battery, according to jail records. He told investigators the incident “was not a big deal and that he should not have to go to jail for it” because he had done nothing wrong, police said.

Warnings from Johnson County law enforcement officials were sent out around 8:30 p.m. Monday that Richardson had taken a 4-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl from their mother, according to a police report from the Franklin City Police Department, which is investigating the kidnapping.

The woman told police she and Richardson, an acquaintance, had been driving in her minivan Monday evening near Franklin. Richardson became angry and forced her out of the vehicle before getting into the driver’s seat and driving away with the two children in the backseat, according to police reports.

Johnson County police told officials is Shelby, Henry and Hancock counties to be on the lookout for a blue rusted minivan after a GPS trace for Richardson’s cellphone showed he might be in Greenfield, according to dispatch records.

Richardson had made comments about dropping the children off someone safe before harming himself, officials said.

More than a dozen Hancock County officers assisted in the search for Richardson Monday night. Greenfield Police found his vehicle parked outside of Walmart just after 9 p.m., police said.

Greenfield Police Maj. Derek Towle said Richardson was taken into police custody without incident. He was transported to the Greenfield Police Department for holding until members of the Franklin City Police came to transport him to the Johnson County Jail.

Richardson was being held in the Johnson County Jail at press time on $11,000 bond. He faces primarily charges of domestic battery, interfering with reporting a crime, kidnapping, auto theft, criminal mischief and criminal confinement, according to jail records.

Richardson will not face criminal charges locally, Towle said.

Greenfield Police officers and Walmart employees chipped in money to buy the kids toys to play with while they wanted for their mother to arrive, police said.

Richardson told investigators he was trying to talk with the woman and drove away because she would not listen to him. After driving for a while, Richardson said he realized taking the children was a mistake, but he did not want to return to Johnson County because he didn’t want to get in trouble with police, investigators said.

Richardson told officers he didn’t want to go back to prison, reports state. Richardson was paroled earlier this year after serving 10 months on a charge of failure to return to lawful detention.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.