Three people in their 60s and 70s have been charged with child abduction and conspiracy to commit an abduction in a case that promoted an Amber Alert in Newfoundland on Thursday.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says police arrested Wilbur Crockwell, 72, of New Brunswick in Badger at 9:55 p.m. on Thursday. They believe he came to the province to abduct a 14-year-old girl who was originally from New Brunswick but living in St. John's.
CBC News has learned Crockwell used to live with the girl and her mother in New Brunswick. Family members tell CBC News they did not consider him to be a guardian or a person they trusted to take care of the girl.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says officers found the girl at a cabin on Bay d'Espoir Highway just after 1 a.m. on Friday with a 69-year-old man, Cyril Boone, and a 63-year-old woman, Erin Bast, both from Milltown-Head of Bay d'Espoir.
All three adults were arrested. In addition to the charges of abduction and conspiracy to commit abduction, Crockwell is charged with luring a child.
New information prompted Amber Alert
The girl — who CBC News is not naming due to policies on underage victims of alleged crimes — was reported missing last week. She had been last seen June 2, in the area of Thorburn Road in St. John's.
Police now say they had information that she packed her bags before leaving, and an "unauthorized adult" was "providing guidance" to her. The family told CBC News that person was Wilbur Crockwell.
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Const. James Cadigan said there was insufficient information to send an Amber Alert at the time she was reported missing.
The situation changed Thursday, when police say they received information that Crockwell had entered the province through the Port aux Basques ferry terminal. Later that day, police believed the girl had met up with Boone and Bast. At that point they believed an abduction had taken place, reaching the criteria for an Amber Alert.
Cadigan said police received numerous tips after the alert went out at 5:37 p.m. on Thursday. Within 3½ hours, Crockwell had been arrested.
Crockwell, Bast and Boone are being held in custody and were scheduled for a first court appearance Friday morning in Grand Falls-Windsor.