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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Shasta & Dylan Groene - May 17, 2005 ID  (Read 11349 times)
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xx Re: Missing Idaho girl found alive, Older brother
« Reply #15 on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 11:24am »

Missing Idaho girl found alive
Older brother still missing

Saturday, July 2, 2005; Posted: 12:11 p.m. EDT (16:11 GMT)


Brenda Groene and Mark McKenzie were found dead the night of May 16.
(CNN) -- An 8-year-old Idaho girl, missing more than six weeks after three people were found beaten to death in her mother's home, has been found alive, a police official said Saturday.

Shasta Groene was found at about 2 a.m. (4 a.m. ET), a spokesman for the Kootenai County (Idaho) Sheriff's Department said.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Department spokesman Capt. Ben Wolfinger said Shasta was found in the company of a North Dakota man, who was taken into custody.

Shasta's brother, 9-year-old Dylan, has not been located, but her great aunt, Sue Torres, told CNN that "Shasta's probably going to take us to him."

"The only thing I really know is that a waitress at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene recognized her."

Shasta is in a hospital, and "she wants her daddy," Torres said.

The children have been missing since May 16, when their mother, a brother and the mother's boyfriend were found beaten to death in the mother's home.

A memorial service was held May 25 for 40-year-old Brenda Groene and 13-year-old Slade Groene.

Authorities said they and 37-year-old Mark McKenzie died from blunt-force trauma to the head. The last time they were seen was May 15, when they had a Sunday get-together with friends at the home.

Police have said they have no suspects in the deaths or the children's disappearance.

"We've always believed that if they were going to kill everybody in the house, they would have killed them and left them there," Wolfinger said in May. "But they didn't."

Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the return of the children or information that could lead to those responsible for their abduction. In addition, Kootenai County posted a $7,500 reward. (Full story)

An Amber Alert initially was issued for the children but was canceled because of the lack of new information in the case for five days.

Authorities described Dylan as 4 feet tall, 60 pounds, with crew-cut blond hair and blue eyes.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/07/02/idaho.children/index.html

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xx Re:Idaho girl missing since mid-May found alive
« Reply #16 on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 11:27am »

Idaho girl missing since mid-May found alive
She says brother is OK, too; suspect arrested

Shasta and Dylan Groene
Kootenai County Sheriff via AP

BREAKING NEWS
MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 11:41 a.m. ET July 2, 2005

Eight-year-old Shasta Groene, missing with her brother Dylan, 9, since May 16 after the brutal murders of their mother, her boyfriend and their older brother at their Idaho home, was found alive Saturday in a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, just about two miles from the house that was the scene of the murders, NBC News has learned.

Police have arrested a 42-year-old suspect. Tobby Hatley of KHQ TV in Spokane, Wash., told MSNBC TV that the man in custody was Joseph Edward Duncan III of Fargo, N.D. MSNBC TV reported that the suspect was a sex offender who had failed to report in to authorities in Minnesota as required since mid-April.

Shasta reportedly said Dylan was alive at a house. A waitress at the restaurant recognized Shasta, Hatley said.

A news conference was scheduled for noon ET. A dispatcher for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department confirmed that Shasta was found. The dispatcher, who did not want to be named, had no information on Dylan. The dispatcher said Shasta was taken to a hospital.

The children’s mother, Brenda Groene, 40, older brother Slade, 13, and their mother’s boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, 37, were killed inside their white, cinderblock house a few miles east of Cour D’Alene, and the two children went missing.

Early speculation centered on Steven Groene, 48, ex-husband of Brenda and father of the three children, but authorities insissted he was not a suspect.

FBI agents and local officers interviewed hundreds of people, searched through 800 tons of animal carcasses and other trash and devoted thousands of hours to the search.

Some 1,500 tips flowed in, with people offering theories that ranged from alien abduction to a motorcycle gang war, since Steven Groene owns a Harley-Davidson.

Brenda Groene and Mark McKenzie had marijuana and methamphetamine in their bodies at the time of their deaths, according to autopsies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8443793/
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xx Re: Shasta & Dylan Groene - May 17, 2005 ID
« Reply #17 on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 12:01pm »

I have to wonder where the boy is? You all please post if you see anything. This is good news but at the same time it'd be better if that boy could be found as well.

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xx Re:Idaho Girl Found Alive; Brother Feared Dead
« Reply #18 on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 1:54pm »

Idaho Girl Found Alive; Brother Feared Dead
Saturday, July 02, 2005

PHOTOS VIDEO


COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Shasta Groene, the 8-year-old girl whose mother, oldest brother and mother's boyfriend were bludgeoned to death at their home outside this mountain town six weeks ago, was discovered alive early Saturday morning by a waitress at a local Denny's restaurant.

But her brother, Dylan, 9, who with Shasta vanished from the murder scene, was feared dead, Kootenai County authorities said. An Amber Alert was issued for the siblings May 17, the morning after the triple slayings.

"Our initial information is that he may be deceased," Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said, adding that officials were continuing the search for him. He would not elaborate on what kind of information investigators had.

Joseph Edward Duncan III (search), 42, a registered sex offender from Fargo, N.D., was charged with kidnapping and was being held without bond, Wolfinger said. He said more charges could be added.

Cheryl Morgan, the siblings' grandmother, had earlier told FOX News she had been informed both Shasta and Dylan were found alive.

Duncan has a long record of sexual offenses. He arrested in Becker County, Minn., in April for allegedly molesting a 7-year-old boy the previous July, and served 14 years in prison for raping at 14-year-old boy in Washington state in 1980, when Duncan himself was only 16.

In May, Minnesota authorities said they were seeking Duncan on a warrant after he failed to stay in touch with probation agents.

Local news reports said Duncan and Shasta Groene (search) walked into the Denny's at a little before 2 a.m. PDT Saturday. One account said Duncan ripped down a missing poster featuring the Groene siblings.

A waitress noticed the girl and, after consulting photos in a recent newspaper, called 911. She then served the girl a milkshake and stalled the pair until police arrived.

Shasta seemed well and was being interviewed by investigators at Kootenai County Medical Center (search). Her father, Steve Groene (search), was on his way to Coeur d'Alene to be reunited with her, a relative said.

"She was sitting in a restaurant eating a meal. She's obviously well enough to do that," Wolfinger said.

Her grandmother, who was calling from Montana, said authorities told her Shasta was alert.

"She wanted to see her daddy. She wanted to talk to her brother. So she's coherent," said Morgan. "She understands what's going on. So we're real confident that she is aware of everything."

It was not known whether Duncan had a connection with the victims.

"We don't have any idea who Duncan is, other than a very, very sick individual. Sick and stupid to go to a Denny's at 2 a.m. with a child," Bob Price, Shasta Groene's paternal uncle, said by telephone from Tacoma, Wash.

Price said the children's father had just arrived at Price's home early Saturday for the Fourth of July weekend when he received a call saying Shasta had been found.

Wolfinger said he had no information on where Shasta had been held or where her brother may be.

"All we know is that he was not with Shasta and Duncan" at the restaurant, he said.

Dylan and Shasta Groene had been missing since at least May 16, when sheriff's deputies responded to their rural home after a neighbor reported that dogs were barking and the door of one vehicle was open but no one was in sight.

The deputies found the bound bodies of Brenda Groene, 40, Slade Groene, 13, and Mark McKenzie, 37. The victims were bound and then bludgeoned to death.

FBI agents and local officers interviewed hundreds of people, searched through 800 tons of animal carcasses and other trash and devoted thousands of hours to the search.

More than 2,000 tips flowed in, with people offering theories that ranged from alien abduction to a motorcycle gang war, since the children's biological father owns a Harley-Davidson.

Brenda Groene and Mark McKenzie had marijuana and methamphetamine in their bodies at the time of their deaths.

Tom Kraus, Brenda Groene's great-uncle in Whitefish, Mont., said family members were elated by the news of Shasta's return and hoping that Dylan also would be found alive.

"Obviously, we were very excited they found Shasta," he said. "We are hopeful they can find Dylan. We're very happy those folks at Denny's recognized her and that they found her."

Police in Fargo were securing his apartment to assist in the investigation, police Sgt. Shannon Ruziska said.

Duncan's address in Fargo was in an older neighborhood where a number of North Dakota State University students live. He enrolled at the university in 2000, majoring in computer science, and made the dean's list in fall 2000 and spring 2001.

More than 300 people attended a community notification meeting for Duncan after his move to Fargo.

Kerstin Haugen, who lives in an apartment building next door, said she had not seen him for several months. Police stopped by looking for him, she said.

"He seemed normal," Haugen said. She said she was not aware that he was a registered sex offender when she first moved in, but found out later from neighbors. She said he kept to himself.

Ruziska said police were doing quarterly checks on Duncan.

"The call from Idaho was a surprise to us," Ruziska said.

Duncan's criminal history dates back to 1980, when he was convicted of raping a 14-year-old boy in Washington state when he was 16.

Last July, he was accused of molesting a 6-year-old boy at a school playground in Minnesota. He was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct and attempted criminal sexual conduct.

He had been released by Becker County, Minn., authorities in April on $15,000 bond and ordered to stay in touch with a probation agent. In May, authorities said they were seeking Duncan on a warrant after he failed to do so.

Becker County Attorney Joseph Evans did not immediately return a call Saturday seeking comment.

Minnesota has moved to crack down on sex offenders since the slaying of college student Dru Sjodin (search) across the state line in North Dakota. A sex offender from Minnesota is accused in the slaying.

A federal law creating a Web site with state-by-state information on sex offenders was inspired in part by the Sjodin case.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,161424,00.html
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xx Suspect in Idaho case had abuse history
« Reply #19 on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 11:06pm »

GENE JOHNSON


SEATTLE - The man arrested Saturday with a missing 8-year-old girl had spent more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a boy at gunpoint and had a Web site that called for lighter sentencing of sex offenders, officials said.

Joseph Edward Duncan III's criminal record stretches back to 1980, when as a teenager he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in Washington state and pleaded guilty.

He was charged Saturday with kidnapping Shasta Groene, who disappeared with her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, six weeks ago from a home where three family members were bludgeoned to death. Dylan was still missing Saturday and officials said early information indicated he might be dead.

Duncan was being held without bond. His first court appearance was not expected until after the weekend.

At age 17, Duncan pleaded guilty in adult court to first-degree rape and was sentenced to prison. He was released on parole in 1994 but violated it and was sent back in 1997.

After his release again in 2000, he moved to Fargo, N.D., and began studying computer science at North Dakota State University, where officials said he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and made the dean's list.

Fargo Police Capt. Jeff Williams said Duncan initially followed the rules required of high-risk offenders, and neighbors said he kept to himself.

"As far as we know, he was more or a less a model," Williams said.

That changed after Duncan was charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy at a middle school playground in Becker County in Minnesota last year. He was accused of approaching two young boys with a video camera and pulling down the shorts of one of the boys and touching him.

He was released in April on $15,000 bond and ordered to stay in contact with a probation officer. In May, authorities said they were seeking Duncan on a warrant after he failed to do so.

Police last visited his Fargo apartment on May 5 with a search warrant, Assistant Police Chief Keith Ternes said Saturday. He said does not believe Duncan ever returned to Fargo after that and said authorities had had no reason to suspect he might be connected with the Idaho case.

Duncan also authored a Web site called fifthnail.com, Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. The site was down Saturday but could be seen in archived Web pages.

The name was derived from a myth involving a fifth nail that was crafted for Christ's execution but that was not used after gypsies hid it from Roman soldiers. "The Fifth Nail is the nail that was meant to peirce the Heart of Christ and end his suffering," the site said.

In one posting, he said he knew his 1980 sex offense was wrong, "but I can honestly say that I had no clue of the impact my actions would have on my victim, or society, or myself. ... I was abused, even raped, so often and by so many different people growing up that I thought it was like smoking pot, everyone did it, but nobody openly admitted it."

In another, he said as a teen he was sentenced to a group sex offender program "where half the men in my 'treatment group' sat and fantasized about me."

He said forcing sex offenders to register was discriminatory.

---http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/12044073.htm

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xx Investigators Search Idaho Suspect's Jeep
« Reply #20 on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 12:37pm »

Investigators Search Idaho Suspect's Jeep

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The registered sex offender accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl from an Idaho home where her family members were bludgeoned to death had been released on bail just a month before the girl disappeared.

Joseph Edward Duncan III, of Fargo, was with Shasta Groene at a Denny's in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, early Saturday when a waitress recognized the girl and called police. Shasta's 9-year-old brother, Dylan, remained missing and was feared dead.

Investigators were searching a stolen red Jeep they believed Duncan had been driving. They asked for tips Sunday from people who may have spotted it in recent weeks.

"Hopefully that will help us find Dylan, as well," Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger told MSNBC. He said 40 investigators were working on the case.

Duncan, 42, was charged with kidnapping and being held without bond. Wolfinger said more charges were possible; Duncan's first court appearance was not expected until after the holiday weekend.

Duncan had been charged in March with molesting a 6-year-old boy at a middle-school playground in Minnesota. He was released on bail in April and failed to check in with a probation agent.

Police in Fargo had been looking for him since May.

"We didn't have any information that suggested he would be connected with the homicides or the missing children in Idaho," Assistant Police Chief Keith Ternes told reporters.

Duncan spent more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a boy at gunpoint in 1980, when he was 16, and had a Web site that called for lighter sentencing of sex offenders, officials said.

On Saturday, Shasta was spotted by a waitress in a restaurant that displayed her picture, just miles from the home where her mother, older brother and mother's boyfriend were discovered bound and bludgeoned to death on May 16.

Waitress Amber Deahn, 24, tried to keep the pair at the restaurant longer by giving the girl crayons, coloring paper and a mask from the movie "Madagascar," and offering the girl dessert while she called police.

"I was trying to figure out a way to keep them there so the officers would have time to get there," she said.

It was not yet known where the girl had spent the past six weeks, or what might have happened to her brother. She was being interviewed at a medical center but appeared physically well.

"Obviously she's been through a pretty traumatic time," Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said.

Shasta's father, Steve Groene, and her oldest brother, Vance, spent Saturday at a hospital with her. Vance Groene said he was "more than relieved."

Dylan and Shasta had been missing since at least May 16, when sheriff's deputies responded to their rural home after a neighbor reported that dogs were barking and the door of one vehicle was open but no one was in sight.

The deputies found the bound bodies of Brenda Groene, 40, Slade Groene, 13, and Mark McKenzie, 37. The victims were bound and then bludgeoned to death.

Wolfinger said Dylan was feared dead, though officials were continuing the search for him. He said investigators believe Dylan was alive when the children disappeared.

Investigators had interviewed hundreds of people, searched through 800 tons of trash and fielded more than 2,000 tips. It was not known whether Duncan had a connection with the victims.

"We don't have any idea who Duncan is, other than a very, very sick individual," Bob Price, Shasta's paternal uncle, said by telephone from Tacoma, Wash.

Duncan, whose criminal history dates back to 1980, enrolled at the university in 2000, majoring in computer science, and made the dean's list. When he moved to Fargo, more than 300 people attended a community notification meeting.

But police said Duncan followed the rules required of high-risk offenders until recently, and neighbors said he kept to himself.

"As far as we know, he was more or a less a model," Police Capt. Jeff Williams said.

Kerstin Haugen, who lives in an apartment building next door, said she had not seen Duncan for several months. Police stopped by looking for him, she said.

"He seemed normal," Haugen said. She said she was not aware that he was a registered sex offender when she first moved in, but found out later from neighbors. She said he kept to himself.

After his arrest this year in Minnesota, Duncan was released by Becker County, Minn., authorities on $15,000 bond. Becker County Attorney Joseph Evans did not return a call Saturday seeking comment.

Minnesota has moved to crack down on sex offenders since the slaying of college student Dru Sjodin across the state line in North Dakota. A sex offender from Minnesota is accused in the slaying.

A federal law creating a Web site with state-by-state information on sex offenders was inspired in part by the Sjodin case.

Tom Kraus, Brenda Groene's great-uncle in Whitefish, Mont., said family members were elated that Shasta was now safe.

"Obviously, we were very excited they found Shasta," he said. "We are hopeful they can find Dylan."

---

Associated Press writers Dave Kolpack in Fargo, N.D., John K. Wiley in Spokane, Wash., and Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.


Source: Associated Press/AP Online

http://www.rednova.com/news/general/161248/investigators_search_idaho_suspects_jeep/
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xx Re: Shasta & Dylan Groene - May 17, 2005 ID
« Reply #21 on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 6:26pm »

A wonderful ending for Shasta to be found alive, and such praise for the waitress who recognized her. I hope and pray that Dylan is found alive.
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xx Missing Idaho Boy 'Number One Priority'
« Reply #22 on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 11:02pm »

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS


COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- A day after missing 8-year-old Shasta Groene turned up with a registered sex offender at a Denny's restaurant in her hometown, investigators struggled with a troubling question: What happened to her 9-year-old brother Dylan?

The man with Shasta, Joseph Edward Duncan III, was arrested and charged with kidnapping, but he has requested a lawyer and is refusing to talk to authorities, Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said Sunday.
Duncan won't be appointed a public defender until a court hearing Tuesday, Wolfinger said.

In the meantime, the search for Dylan continues, though investigators say the information they have points to the boy being dead.

Investigators haven't revealed what they believe happened to Dylan or how long they believe the boy was alive after the children's mother, 13-year-old brother and their mother's boyfriend were bludgeoned to death in their home on May 16.

Sunday night, the children's father, Steven Groene, spoke publicly for the first time about being reunited with his daughter at the hospital Saturday and his hopes for still finding his son.

"When I walked in the door, her face just lit up," Groene told Fox News' Geraldo Rivera, choking back tears. "She put her arms out and said 'Daddy, Daddy!' It was one of the better moments of my life."

"She looks real good," he said. "Very upbeat. She acts just like the little girl I saw three weeks before she disappeared."

Groene said police had instructed him not to ask Shasta questions about what had happened. He said he had never heard of Duncan before Saturday and still didn't know much about the man. Authorities weren't telling him much about the evidence involving Dylan, either, he said, but he said they didn't tell him to give up hope.

"Obviously, in the case of Shasta, someone can be missing a long time and still come back safe," he said.

There was no sign of Dylan when Shasta was recognized by a waitress who called police around 2 a.m. Saturday.

The arrest of Duncan, a 42-year-old from Fargo, N.D., who had spent more a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint, has raised many questions and provided few answers.

"Where have Duncan and Shasta and Dylan been the last six weeks? Was Duncan involved in the triple homicide? Were other people involved? Is so, who and where are they?" Wolfinger said.

"I think why is probably the biggest question we have," he said.

Shasta spoke at length with investigators on Saturday, but authorities are treating her gently, Wolfinger said.

"She's a little girl who's been through who knows what in the past six weeks," he said.

Authorities believe Duncan, who was raised in Tacoma, Wash., remained in the Pacific Northwest with the children during the six weeks they were missing. Wolfinger hasn't said if authorities believe Duncan was involved in the slayings, and it wasn't known if he had any connection with the victims.

Half way across the country, officials were facing another tough question: Why had Duncan been released on bail earlier this year after being charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy at a Minnesota school playground.

Becker County, Minn., District Judge Thomas Schroeder, who had set bail at $15,000 despite prosecutors' request that it be $25,000, said Sunday that he barely remembers the case and isn't sure if he knew then that the man was a registered Level 3 sex offender.

"Usually on a bail hearing you have limited information, and so you set it in an amount that you think is appropriate," the judge said. He said if he had known Duncan's record, he would have set it high enough that Duncan would not have gone free.

http://tinyurl.com/9gspu
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xx Human remains found during search for missing 9-ye
« Reply #23 on: Jul 4th, 2005, 4:43pm »

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Authorities on Monday said they found human remains during their search for a missing 9-year-old boy whose sister was found days earlier at a Denny's restaurant with a registered sex offender.

Sheriff Rocky Watson said the remains were found in western Montana would be sent to an FBI laboratory for DNA analysis. He did not say whether the remains were believed to be those of Dylan Groene, and declined to answer questions.

Dylan's 8-year-old sister, Shasta, was found Saturday with Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, of Fargo, N.D., more than six weeks after the children disappeared from the home where their mother, her boyfriend and an older brother were bludgeoned to death.

Authorities planned to charge Duncan with kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice, and have said more charges were possible. A judge ruled Monday that there was probable cause to keep Duncan in jail until an initial court appearance Tuesday
http://www.katu.com/stories/78178.html
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xx Human Remains Found in Missing Boy Search
« Reply #24 on: Jul 5th, 2005, 05:17am »

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Seven weeks to the day after Shasta and Dylan Groene were reported missing, Shasta was seen cuddling in the arms of her father, while authorities said they had found human remains that might be her missing 9-year-old brother.

Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson said Monday that "possible" human remains had been found at a site in western Montana, and would be sent to the FBI crime lab in Virginia for DNA analysis. That is expected to take three days.

Watson declined to answer questions, but the fact that he called a press conference at the place where reporters were following the Groene story indicated officials believe the remains were related.

"Unfortunately we believe Dylan to be deceased," Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said after Watson's announcement. But until the remains are identified, they could not be certain, he said.

Dylan and Shasta, 8, had been missing since May 16, when the bound and bludgeoned bodies of their mother, older brother and mother's boyfriend were found at their rural home near here. Shasta was spotted by employees and customers early Saturday morning eating breakfast with a man at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene.


Officers arrested the man, Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, on suspicion of kidnapping and other charges. Duncan, from Fargo, N.D., is a violent sexual predator who has spent much of his adult life in prison.

Authorities planned to formally charge Duncan with kidnapping and being a fugitive from justice, and have said more charges were possible. A judge ruled Monday that there was probable cause to keep Duncan in jail until an initial court appearance Tuesday.

The sheriff's office released a photograph showing a smiling Shasta hugging her father Steve at Kootenai Medical Center. Another photo showed her holding a doll. The photos do not show any apparent injuries from her nearly six weeks of captivity.

"She's a much happier little girl right now," Wolfinger said, adding she was listed in good condition.

Officers have interviewed the girl a couple of times, but details of what happened to the children are agonizingly slow in coming. Duncan has refused to cooperate, officials said.



Major questions include: Was Duncan involved in the three initial slayings? Have the children been with him the whole time? And, if so, where have they been hiding?

"We've got a lot of questions left unanswered," Wolfinger said, and some 60 investigators from the local area, the Idaho State Patrol and the FBI are working the case.

Authorities have relied on information from Shasta, evidence from Duncan's stolen red Jeep Cherokee and some 100 new tips from the public in the search for the boy. The tips have poured in since photos of Duncan and the Jeep were released, and many are "vehicle-specific and Duncan-specific," Wolfinger said.

Watson said the remains were found at "one of the possible locations in western Montana," but did not elaborate about the site.

"Investigators continue to follow all of the other leads in this complex case," Watson said. "This case continues to be the No. 1 priority for all agencies involved."

Shasta has provided helpful information, but Wolfinger declined to say exactly what the girl was telling officers. "It's a slow process with Shasta," he said. "We're taking that very slowly."

The children were declared missing when authorities arrived at their home May 16 and found the bodies of their mother, Brenda Groene, 40, brother Slade Groene, 13, and their mother's boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, 37.

Authorities believe Duncan and the children remained in the Northwest during the past seven weeks, but Wolfinger declined to say where. He also would not say if there was any evidence others were accompanying Duncan.

Steven Groene on Sunday night spoke publicly for the first time about being reunited with his daughter, and thanked the community for its support. He said his daughter was watching movies and had a vanilla shake and pancakes for breakfast.

"Shasta is doing very well and we all are very hopeful that Dylan will come home safely," he said.



Officials have not said why they believe the Groene family was targeted. Steve Groene said he had never heard of Duncan before Saturday. Authorities searched Duncan's Fargo apartment.

Duncan, who was raised in Tacoma, Wash., had spent more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint and was a fugitive at the time of his arrest for allegedly molesting a 6-year-old boy in Minnesota.

A registered high-risk sex offender, Duncan was released on $15,000 bail earlier this year after being charged with molesting the boy. Police in Fargo had been looking for Duncan since May, when he failed to check in with a probation agent.

http://durantdemocrat.com/articles/2005/07/02/ap/headlines/d8b53dfg0.txt
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xx Statement Reveals Shasta Groene's Kidnapping Ordea
« Reply #25 on: Jul 7th, 2005, 04:42am »

Coeur D'Alene, ID (AHN) - Court documents reveal handwritten accounts from an interview during which Shasta Groene recounts the events during her kidnapping and the deaths of her family.Court records explain Shasta's account of her abduction the kidnapping of her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, saying they were taken to a remote campsite and repeatedly molested.Police say before her ordeal ended six weeks later, Shasta would be repeatedly molested by a convicted sex offender and become the only apparent survivor of the five people in the home.

According to the affadavit, Shasta was awakened at her home, witnessing her mother, Brenda Groene, 13-year-old brother Slade and Mark McKenzie, her mother's boyfriend, being tied up. She and Dylan were also bound and placed in the pickup truck. The children were later taken to a stolen red Jeep and taken to the first of three campsites.The affidavit does not mention the details of the beating deaths of the girl's family or whether she witnessed the killings. It also did not say if she witnessed what happened to Dylan.

Shasta Groene's statements place Joseph Edward Duncan III inside the rural home where the girl's mother, older brother and mother's boyfriend were bound and bludgeoned to death in May.

Investigators believe the campsite where Shasta and Dylan were held is in rugged country near St. Regis, Montana. Human remains found at the campsite have not been positively identified, but are believed to be Dylan.

Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, a convicted sex offender on the run from an earlier child molestation count, was charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree kidnapping. So far, Duncan has not been charged with anything other than kidnapping, which can carry the death penalty or life in prison.Shasta told officers Duncan did not have an accomplice, yet investigators are still trying to determine whether he acted alone.

According to the family, they had not previously known Duncan.
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/cgi-bin/news/newsbrief.plx?id=2241341464&fa=1
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xx Trauma, remote places perhaps made kids think esca
« Reply #26 on: Jul 10th, 2005, 1:49pm »

Posted on Sat, Jul. 09, 2005


Trauma, remote places perhaps made kids think escape impossible

SARAH COOKE

Associated Press


ST. REGIS, Mont. - They were less than 100 miles from home, but they may as well have been 100,000.

The vast, thickly veiled forest in remote northwestern Montana proved to be the ideal hiding place for a man accused of kidnapping two children from their home just across the border in Idaho.

"You have to want to go this far to camp in a place like this," said Sharon Sweeney, spokeswoman for the Lolo National Forest, where investigators believe Joseph Edward Duncan III kept the children for part of the six weeks they were missing.

On his Internet diary, Duncan wrote that he was afraid he'd be blamed for the disappearance of 5-year-old Leanna "Beaner" Warner, who was last seen after leaving her home in Chisholm, Minn., on June 14, 2003.

Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly where 8-year-old Shasta and 9-year-old Dylan Groene were taken after their mother, brother and mother's boyfriend were bludgeoned to death in their rural Idaho home. The children were gone when the bodies were discovered May 16.

Authorities believe Duncan spent at least some of that time with the children in this rugged national forest, camping at two or more remote sites.

It is here, they say, that Duncan, a 42-year-old registered sex offender from North Dakota, is accused of molesting both children.

Shasta was rescued July 2 after a waitress spotted her with the older man at a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, restaurant a few miles from her mother's home and called police. But Dylan remains missing, and authorities fear human remains found during the search in western Montana are his. DNA test results are expected in the next week.

Duncan has only been charged with kidnapping.

Authorities, however, have said they also believe he killed the children's 13-year-old brother, their mother and her boyfriend. Sheriff Rocky Watson said Friday that the family appeared to have been chosen at random but that the attack was carefully planned and executed, possibly with the motive of abducting the young children for sex.

Public defender Lynn Nelson, who is representing Duncan, did not return telephone messages seeking comment Friday.

As investigators try to retrace Duncan's steps and determine how he could have kept the children for so long without being noticed, the sheer primitive nature of this part of western Montana could offer some explanation.

The forest west of St. Regis where Duncan is believed to have camped with the children is one of the state's most rugged, a labyrinth of dirt trails and old logging roads, many leading to nowhere.

The sense of physical isolation is instant.

One of the suspected campsites is nothing more than a small clearing where the road dead ends, bordered by towering ponderosa pines and a steep ravine. It is about an hour's drive from civilization.

Duncan may have kept the children compliant by convincing them they needed him to survive, said Gilbert Kliman, medical director of the Children's Psychological Health Center in San Francisco.

Word that Duncan might have kept the children in the St. Regis area stunned many in the small logging town.

"There are so many people who come through here with kids," said Maria Lopez, a mother of four whose family sells cherries in town. "You kind of think about it and ask yourself 'Did I see her?'"

Not many locals venture into the obscure spots Duncan apparently did, though, and their relative inaccessibility would have made them like a prison to the children if Duncan left to get supplies.

In town, he would have fit in as just another camper.

"Police officers look for the unusual," Kootenai County, Idaho sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. "If he didn't stand out as unusual they wouldn't have looked at him."

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/12095720.htm
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xx Re: Shasta & Dylan Groene - May 17, 2005 ID
« Reply #27 on: Jul 12th, 2005, 3:27pm »

Idaho suspect to be charged with murder

Prosecutor: 3 counts due Tuesday could bring death penalty

Tuesday, July 12, 2005; Posted: 8:20 a.m. EDT (12:20 GMT)

(CNN) -- A convicted sex offender accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old Idaho girl will be charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree murder, the prosecutor in the case said Monday.

Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Douglas told CNN that Joseph Edward Duncan III will be charged in the killings of Shasta Groene's mother, a brother and her mother's boyfriend.

However, Douglas said Duncan, 42, will not be charged with the murder of Shasta's 9-year-old brother, Dylan, because those charges fall under the jurisdiction of Montana prosecutors.

Investigators confirmed Sunday that remains found July 4 in the Lolo National Forest in western Montana have been positively identified as Dylan Groene.

The grisly discovery came two days after Shasta Groene was found with Duncan at a restaurant in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, seven weeks after the children vanished.

The murder charges against Duncan will include aggravating factors that could bring the death penalty, Douglas said.

"We will allege both premeditation and felony murder -- that is, in the course of a kidnapping," the prosecutor said.

Duncan was charged last week with two counts of kidnapping with the intent to rape, commit an unnatural act or perform a lewd and lascivious act on a child younger than 16. Under Idaho law, those charges also carry a potential death sentence.

On May 16, the bodies of the children's mother, Brenda Groene, their older brother, Slade Groene, and the mother's boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, were found in their Coeur d'Alene home. They had been tied up and beaten to death.

When the two younger children could not be found, authorities launched a nationwide manhunt that ended July 2, when alert restaurant workers recognized the girl and called police.

An investigative document filed in the case revealed that Shasta Groene told police after her rescue that she saw Duncan tie up the family members on the day they were killed, although her statement did not say whether she witnessed the slayings.

She also told investigators that she and her brother had been sexually assaulted by Duncan, according to the document.

In 1980, Duncan was convicted of raping a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in Washington state when he was 16. After completing his prison term in 2000, he moved to Fargo, North Dakota.

Earlier this year, he was charged with child molestation and attempted child molestation in Minnesota. After being released on bond, he fled Minnesota and was a fugitive until captured in Coeur d'Alene.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/07/11/idaho.children/index.html
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xx Idaho Suspect Allegedly Staked Out Home
« Reply #28 on: Jul 13th, 2005, 05:49am »

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Convicted sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan bragged to his 8-year-old captive during more than six weeks on the run, telling her how he used a shotgun and hammer to kill her family after staking out their home for days, court documents show.

Shasta Groene remembered it all and has been providing authorities with details that are building a strong case against Duncan.

Duncan was charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree kidnapping in the deaths of Shasta's mother Brenda Groene, 40, her brother Slade, 13, and Groene's boyfriend Mark McKenzie, 37. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

"He told her he was out driving around looking for children to kidnap," Kootenai County sheriff's detective Brad Maskell testified during a probable cause hearing. "He ... saw her playing in the yard with her brother and wearing a bathing suit. At that point he chose them as possible kidnap victims."

Public defender John Adams declined to comment after the hearing. "We try to do our litigation in the courtroom," he said.

Shasta's ordeal began when she heard her mother call her into the living room early on the morning of May 16. Her mother, brother and McKenzie were bound with zip-ties and duct tape.

Duncan then bound her and Dylan and left them on the ground outside near a swing set. Shasta said she heard McKenzie yell out several times, and at one point they saw Slade stagger, incoherent and bleeding profusely from the head, out of the home. The children yelled for Slade to untie them, but he was unable to respond.

Shasta remembered that Duncan wore dark gloves and had a shotgun and night-vision goggles. She also recalled the brand name of the hammer used to bludgeon the victims, which Duncan showed her after the attacks.

During weeks of captivity at a remote campsite in western Montana, Duncan told Shasta that he cased the family's home for two to three days, using his goggles to look in the windows and study the family's habits and the layout.

"Shasta was very specific that Mr. Duncan is the only person responsible for these acts," Maskell added.

Shasta was rescued early in the morning of July 2, when employees at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene recognized her and called police. She has since been reunited with her father.

Dylan was found dead in Montana last week.

Duncan had been charged with kidnapping Shasta and Dylan, but those state charges will be dismissed and instead handled by the federal court system because the youngsters were taken across a state line, authorities said.

Officials have alleged that the children were repeatedly sexually molested during their ordeal, and sheriff Rocky Watson has said he believes the motive for the killings was to acquire the children for sex.

Duncan was released on $15,000 bail earlier this year in Becker County, Minn., after being charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy. Police in Fargo, N.D., where Duncan lived, had been looking for him since he failed to check in with a probation agent there in May.

Duncan had spent more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in Tacoma, Wash.

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xx Man Bragged to Idaho Girl About Killings
« Reply #29 on: Jul 14th, 2005, 05:19am »

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Convicted sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan bragged to his 8-year-old captive during more than six weeks on the run, telling her how he used a shotgun and hammer to kill her family after staking out their home for days, court documents show.

Shasta Groene remembered it all and has been providing authorities with details that are building a strong case against Duncan.

Duncan was charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree kidnapping in the deaths of Shasta's mother Brenda Groene, 40, her brother Slade, 13, and Groene's boyfriend Mark McKenzie, 37. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

"He told her he was out driving around looking for children to kidnap," Kootenai County sheriff's detective Brad Maskell testified during a probable cause hearing. "He ... saw her playing in the yard with her brother and wearing a bathing suit. At that point he chose them as possible kidnap victims."

Public defender John Adams declined to comment after the hearing. "We try to do our litigation in the courtroom," he said.

Shasta's ordeal began when she heard her mother call her into the living room early on the morning of May 16. Her mother, brother and McKenzie were bound with zip-ties and duct tape.

Duncan then bound her and Dylan and left them on the ground outside near a swing set. Shasta said she heard McKenzie yell out several times, and at one point they saw Slade stagger, incoherent and bleeding profusely from the head, out of the home. The children yelled for Slade to untie them, but he was unable to respond.

Shasta remembered that Duncan wore dark gloves and had a shotgun and night-vision goggles. She also recalled the brand name of the hammer used to bludgeon the victims, which Duncan showed her after the attacks.

During weeks of captivity at a remote campsite in western Montana, Duncan told Shasta that he cased the family's home for two to three days, using his goggles to look in the windows and study the family's habits and the layout.

"Shasta was very specific that Mr. Duncan is the only person responsible for these acts," Maskell added.

Shasta was rescued early in the morning of July 2, when employees at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene recognized her and called police. She has since been reunited with her father.

Dylan was found dead in Montana last week.

Duncan had been charged with kidnapping Shasta and Dylan, but those state charges will be dismissed and instead handled by the federal court system because the youngsters were taken across a state line, authorities said.

Officials have alleged that the children were repeatedly sexually molested during their ordeal, and sheriff Rocky Watson has said he believes the motive for the killings was to acquire the children for sex.

Duncan was released on $15,000 bail earlier this year in Becker County, Minn., after being charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy. Police in Fargo, N.D., where Duncan lived, had been looking for him since he failed to check in with a probation agent there in May.

Duncan had spent more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in Tacoma, Wash.

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