Bemidji Man Charged in Kidnapping
BEMIDJI- A 32-year old man is charged with kidnapping after a 5-year old girl went missing following a house fire in Bemidji.
Police began an extensive search for Brittany Balcer following a fatal fire on the 3900 block of Irvine Avenue in Bemidji early Wednesday morning. Balcer was located near a Big Fork, after the suspect, Jacob William Kinn, spoke voluntarily with detectives Wednesday evening.
The victim in the fire was identified as Melissa Norby. An official autopsy report is still under investigation at this time.
According to the report, the victim had recently re-kindled a relationship with a male know as “Jake” with blue eyes. It was reported that “Jake” owned a food truck called “Jake Eats” last reported being seen outside of Taber’s Bait in Bemidji. Investigators then learned that the food truck was licensed to Kinn.
Investigators further learned that Kinn was currently on probation for a child pornography conviction. Law enforcement contacted Kinn’s probation officer, who told him to reporter to the Beltrami Law Enforcement Center.
Kinn told his probation officer, “This is probably about that missing girl.”
During interviews Kinn denied any contact with the victim and Balcer. During that time, investigators learned that his phone pinged off of the Big Fork cellular tower around 10:30 PM on Wednesday. The ping was approximately 5.2 miles away from the tower where they learned that Kinn’s brother owned a property within that area.
Balcer was located on the top bunk in a camper on the Big Fork property wearing pajamas. Her legs were taped together and she did not have any food, water, or bathroom facilities at her disposal.
Balcer reported acute injuries and tape marks all over her body. She was transported to the Family Advocacy Center where she received medical attention.
According to the charges, Balcer told authorities the victim’s “friend” put the duct tape on her, putting it over her mouth, legs and hands. She told police the friend then drove her to a cabin and said he was not coming back.
Kinn is facing a conviction up 40 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines, or both.