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Alaskan to Be Tried in L.A. in Kidnaping of Venice Girl

March 22, 1985

Federal prosecutors plan to return a 58-year-old Alaska man to Los Angeles for trial in the kidnaping a 5-year-old Venice girl in August, 1981, U.S. Atty. Robert Bonner announced Thursday.

Bonner said he expects a federal grand jury indictment returned against John R. Altig to supersede the sexual molestation charges filed by Alaska authorities in Anchorage, where Altig has been held without bail.

In the indictment returned Thursday, Altig is charged with one count each of kidnaping and interstate travel with a female for immoral purposes.

Elvia Vasquez, who was 19 months old when she disappeared from a park near Venice Beach, was found in Anchorage on Jan. 25, living in a trailer with Altig. He claimed that the girl was his illegitimate daughter, Crystal Morgan.

The youngster told investigators that she remembers being taken from a beach, but that she did not know her true identity. She was later identified by blood and tissue tests as the daughter of Juanita and Javier Vasquez, who had reported her missing 3 1/2 years ago. They were reunited last month.

According to the two-page indictment, after Altig abducted the girl, he first took her to the Santa Barbara area, later moving to Anchorage.

The manager of the camper park in Anchorage where Altig had parked his trailer called authorities after becoming suspicious of the middle-aged man living with the young girl.

A physical examination showed evidence that the girl had been sexually molested, prompting police to arrest Altig.

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