SPOKANE, Wash. -- Neighbors living on Lincoln Street in North Spokane where a 2-year-old boy was taken were shocked to learn about the boy’s disappearance.
Police said they believe Richard Welch, 55, took the child from the boy's home to his home at the All Season’s Motel in Airway Heights early Wednesday morning. Welch eventually took the child with him to an Airway Heights convenience store, according to investigators. Police said Welch then left the child with a clerk. A convenience store clerk called 911 to report the suspicious activity around 4:36 a.m.
They said kids in the neighborhood play outside all of the time and the family takes good care of their children. They cannot believe someone came into the neighborhood and kidnapped a toddler.
“It was bizarre, it was like, this is freaky, this is wrong, you just don’t do these things,” said Maggie who lives nearby.
People said they did not notice anything at first. One woman said her dog was barking a lot that morning but could not figure out why.
“All of a sudden, she started barking and she never barks, even when the newspaper comes,” said neighbor Carol Morphy.
Morphy and others have not heard about the man accused of taking the child but the thought of him lurking in their neighborhood worries them.
They are also surprised this happened to a family that neighbors said takes great care of children.
“It’s a very quiet home, they’re friendly when they’re out, the kids are good,” said Morphy.
Neighbors said they have seen serious crimes before on their street and do not plan to make any major changes to protect themselves.