Toddler kidnapping suspect insists he is innocent



Posted on April 3, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 7:36 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The man arrested in connection to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a two-year old boy did not appear in court Thursday, but did speak with KREM 2’s Whitney Ward.

Richard Welch, 55, was arrested for First Degree Kidnapping Wednesday and is in the Spokane County Jail. Police said Welch had a lengthy criminal past including indecent exposure, domestic violence and assault.

Welch said he was driving by when he saw a child sitting on the side of the road. He told police it looked like a 7-year-old girl. He said the child wanted his help, so he took the boy to his apartment and gave him some cookies and milk. He said he did not do anything wrong.

Welch: “I thought well, I’d have been a good cop, so I figured I’d be one now. I’ll take care of it.”

Ward: “Why didn’t you go to the police?”

Welch: “Why didn’t I go to police? Because I called them and they didn’t come.”

Ward: “Can you tell me that you didn’t hurt that boy?”

Welch: “I did not hurt that boy. I did not touch that boy. I did not touch him inappropriately, or say anything to him inappropriately. I just wanted to know what was going on. Then I finally made it to the hospital. Then all the police were there. All of them. And I go, ‘What the hell?’ They’re not doing their job. They listen to hearsay and they move on it.”

Court documents said the child went missing from his bedroom between midnight and 5 a.m.  Wednesday. The mother said at some point, she heard someone knock on the door but the dog did not bark so she and her husband never checked it out. 

WATCH: Shadle neighbors shocked to learn about toddler’s kidnapping

READ:Toddler abducted from N. Spokane home found at gas station

Police said they believe Welch took the child from the boy's home 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.

Police said there is no indication the victim or parents had any prior involvement with Welch.

Welch is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting the boy. The child was later evaluated at the hospital. Wednesday night, the boy was reportedly home safe with his family.