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THE NATION

Dead Ex-Con May Be Linked to Kidnappings, Authorities Say

June 09, 2002|From Associated Press

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- Authorities were trying to determine if an ex-convict who killed himself after the abduction of a 14-year-old girl may be linked to other crimes.

Keith Glenn Hescock, 42, shot himself in the head Wednesday after a shootout with sheriff's deputies in a forest 35 miles northeast of Idaho. One officer was wounded in the leg and a police dog was killed.

The deputies wanted to question Hescock in the abduction of the girl, who was grabbed early Wednesday as she slept outside on a trampoline with her sister.

She was chained to furniture in Hescock's home before he left for work Wednesday.

The girl said she freed herself the same day by pounding on the chain with a fire extinguisher, then called a family friend. Police did not say whether she had been assaulted.

"She knew she had a certain amount of time" to free herself, Bonneville County Sheriff Byron Stommel said Friday.

Hescock, who served two years on burglary convictions in Oregon, was also a suspect in the September 2001 disappearance of Amber Hoopes, 20, whose family owned a business where Hescock once worked. Hescock was questioned by police but never charged.

Deputies also were checking information that Hescock may have been in the Challis area when 9-year-old Stephanie Crane disappeared while walking home from a bowling alley in 1993, Stommel said.

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