St. Louis man charged in kidnapping case

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John Billingsley

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged a 48-year-old man Friday in connection with a child kidnapping case that occurred a week ago.

According to prosecutors, the incident took place January 8 at 2:45 p.m. in the 3800 block of N. 14th Street.

Detectives said the 12-year-old victim was walking to school when a stranger approached and asked her to help find his cell phone. When the girl reached school property, the stranger grabbed her wrist and dragged her to a nearby vacant house.

The child told police the stranger took her into a room with several mattresses present and she was then able to free herself from his grasp. She ran back to school and told the staff what had happened.

Police eventually apprehended a suspect, identified as John Billingsley. He was charged with child kidnapping.

Billingsley has a prior criminal history including convictions for assault, trespassing, drug distribution, and theft.