Charges: Man kidnapped, sexually assaulted 7-year-old in St. Paul

- A 47-year-old man is facing charges for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a seven-year-old girl Thursday night in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul, Minn.

Police responded to a call of a missing girl at 6:45 p.m. The girl’s father told police he had been checking on a property on the 300 block of Dayton Avenue with his daughter. The girl ran out of the building about one minute ahead of him and when he walked out she was nowhere to be found, according to the charges.

Police immediately searched the neighborhood, making door-to-checks and talking to neighbors who reported a man acting suspiciously in the area. Officers stopped at an apartment complex on the 200 block of Marshall Avenue and asked to look at security camera footage, but the landlord said a suspect matching their description was inside.

The security camera footage showed a man, identified by the landlord as Mark Meihofer, walking into the apartment complex carrying at girl shortly before 6:30 p.m.

Officers were led to Meinhofer’s apartment and removed the door from its hinges, finding the seven-year-old girl inside, naked from the waist up with her hands bound by duct tape. The entire ordeal lasted about 90 minutes.

The seven-year-old told police Meinhofer approached her outside the apartment building and told her he was going to take her to a place. He carried her back to his apartment, where he made her smoke and took photos of her. Police also found evidence of sexual assault.

Meinhofer told police he was “going to bring her home at nine. That’s when her dad gets home. I only took pictures and she took pictures too.”

Meinhofer is being charged with kidnapping and first degree criminal sexual conduct.

The 47-year-old suspect has been booked into the Ramsey County Jail for kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct. Charges have not yet been filed.

Police say Meinhofer is not a suspect in the alleged sexual assault of a five-year-old girl on Monday, May 2 at the intersection of Cook Avenue and Park Street. 

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