Kidnapping, sex charges laid against man after 8-year-old abducted; police believe there may be more victims
EDMONTON -- A man has been arrested after an eight-year-old girl was abducted and sexually assaulted nearly two weeks ago.
The abduction happened on March 10 in the McQueen neighbourhood.
The girl was walking home in the area of 144 Street and 110 Avenue when a man in a vehicle pulled over.
"The male driver pulled her into the vehicle, sexually assaulted her, and dropped her off nearby. The girl immediately reported the incident to her parents, who were looking for her at the time," Det. Amanda Ross said the next day.
The abductor was described as a light-skinned man in his late 20s to mid-30s with mid-length or short hair and facial hair. He was driving a white four-door car or SUV.
On Saturday, neighbours said heavily armed tactical officers arrested a man in a home just two blocks where the abduction happened.
Neighbours say a white Jeep was also towed from the house where the arrest was made.
A woman who said she is the man’s mother spoke to a CTV News Edmonton camera after the arrest.
"I do live here,” she said.
"In this house where they just arrested someone falsely. I know you’re recording this, so I’ll just say they arrested someone falsely."
Wade Stene is facing eight charges in connection with the incident, including kidnapping, sexual assault with a weapon, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, making child pornography and possession of child pornography.
Police say he had no prior record of sex crimes or offences involving children.
However, Stene lived and worked in multiple locations in Alberta and B.C. – including Drayton Valley, Fort McMurray, Vernon and Kelowna – and police are investigating whether there may be more victims in some of these locations.
Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Stene is asked to call their local police, or Edmonton police at 780-423-4567.
While investigators won’t go into specifics about the weekend’s high-profile arrest, they did tell CTV News Edmonton McQueen community residents – and the little girl – played a big role in cracking the case.
“The girl was amazing,” Det. Cheri Jerebic of the EPS child protection section said.
“She was able to clearly articulate what happened to her during the offence, and with that the community that provided all the information to us, whether it was a suspicious person or video in the area.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk