SPOKANE, Wash. -- Investigators said a child being kidnapped by a complete stranger is a rare occurrence locally.
Police said Richard Welch, 55, took the child from his home in North Spokane Wednesday morning. He then took him to his home at the All Season’s Motel in Airway Heights. 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.
Authorities said there is no indication the victim or parents had any prior involvement with Welch.
Police said there have not been any cases like this in Spokane for quite some time.
KREM 2 News asked police if they could recall any similar kidnappings in Spokane within the last 10 years. They said this was the first of its kind in quite some time. A search through the KREM 2 News archives backed up that statement.
“I was thinking back in my 30 year career, and maybe a few times that I had been involved in a legitimate kidnapping. It just doesn’t happen that often, which is fortunate,” said LT. Alan Amzen of the Spokane Police Department.
The most prominent case in our area was that of Joseph Duncan. He murdered three people before kidnapping two children, Dylan and Shasta Groene, near Coeur d’Alene in 2005. Shasta was found a few months later but Duncan killed Dylan.
Lt. Arnzen said the department deals with its fair share of missing children cases but most of those are domestic in nature.
KREM 2 News also checked in with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. They said these types of kidnappings are extremely rare for them and there have not been any notable cases in some time.