Police: Suspect Caught, Kidnapping Victim found Safe, Family Speaks

By: Chiara Lotierzo Email
By: Chiara Lotierzo Email

Grand Junction Police have found the suspect in the case of a kidnapped 10-year-old girl.

Police say he is Michael Shannon Byerrum, 40, of Grand Junction.

Byerrum was arrested after an intense manhunt, following the kidnapping.

Officers found Byerrum in the desert near 29 Road around midnight Saturday, driving a green 1990s Chevrolet Lumina, matching the description witnesses gave police.

The initial kidnapping happened outside the girl's home near 2780 B 1/2 Road in Orchard Mesa at 8:20pm Saturday night.

The victim's mother tells 11 News, the suspect drove up to the parking lot in front of the complex, where the victim and her friends were outside playing.

The victim's friends say the suspect asked them to help him look for his kitten.

They say when the victim got close enough to the car, he threw her into the trunk, and drove off.

Police searched the surrounding areas for the girl, and located her 45 minutes later walking in a remote area near the Department of Energy compound.

Grand Junction Police, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, and Colorado State Patrol all assisted in the manhunt, which was initally centered around the Municipal Cemetary off of Highway 50.

Police then tracked Byerrum and his vehicle down at his parent's home, where a neighbor tells 11 News he'd been staying on-and-off.

Officers then followed Byerrum's car out to the desert.

The Grand Junction Police Department's Street Crimes Unit surrounded his car at gunpoint, and Officer Jenny Chase made the arrest.

Byerrum is now booked on charges including: 2nd degree kidnapping, child abuse, and menacing.

The girl's mother tells 11 News she's doing well, considering the circumstances.

Grand Junction Police tell 11 News they did get a tip earlier in the day about Byerrum, after he was reported in another area of town, talking to a group of children.

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