BEMIDJI, Minn. (KMSP) - A 5-year-old girl has been found alive and a suspect is in custody after the girl went missing following a fatal house fire in Bemidji, Minnesota BCA officials confirmed. With the missing persons aspect of the case now resolved, Fox 9 has chosen to redact the girl's name for her protection.
Police said the girl was visiting a home on the 3900 block of Irvine Avenue when a fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. After crews got the flames under control, they found a woman dead inside the home. Investigators searched the scene, canvassed the area and conducted interviews with neighbors, but could not find the girl.
Late Wednesday, the suspect, 32-year-old Jacob Kinn, voluntarily came to the police department after being identified as a person of interest. After he spoke with police, BCA agents traveled north to an area near Big Fork, Minn. where they believe Kinn had been. They followed fresh tire tracks through a wooded area where they discovered the girl in a pop-up camper at 5:20 a.m. The property belongs to Kinn's relative.
Kinn was arrested for kidnapping and is awaiting formal charges in the Beltrami County Jail.
In 2013, Kinn was sentenced to 65 days in the Beltrami County Jail for posting an ad on Craigslist looking for a young girl to pose for pictures. BCA officials believe Kinn and the woman killed in the fire knew each other, but they do not know if Kinn knew the 5-year-old.
She will be questioned and reunited with her parents on Thursday, but officials wouldn't confirm if they had been cleared in the investigation, and wouldn't speak to the child's well-being.
They added the fatality is being investigated as a homicide, but they can't confirm until the Ramsey County medical examiner's office releases its findings.