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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in North Idaho: Girl kidnapped in Spokane rescued in Elk River hotel

Authorities found Catherine Pluym, 11, in a hotel in Elk River, Idaho, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Aug. 30, 1918. She had been abducted in Spokane by Cleopus Viens, a disgruntled ex-employee of her father. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Authorities found Catherine Pluym, 11, in a hotel in Elk River, Idaho, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Aug. 30, 1918. She had been abducted in Spokane by Cleopus Viens, a disgruntled ex-employee of her father. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Authorities found Catherine Pluym, 11, in a hotel in Elk River, Idaho.

She had been abducted on the way to Sunday school by Cleopus Viens, a disgruntled ex-employee of her father.

Police acted on a tip from someone in Elk River who saw a man and girl arrive in town in a horse and buggy, fitting their description. Viens had stolen a horse and buggy in Spokane before abducting the girl.

Spokane police notified Clearwater County authorities, who found Viens working in an Elk River sawmill.

Reports said that Viens initially denied his identity, but soon confessed. He was charged with abduction and grand larceny. Police believed he might also be responsible for a crime committed several years earlier. He was described as a cook of French descent who also went by the name of Lewis Parkes.

The girl’s mother was heading to Elk River immediately to bring her daughter home. The Spokane Daily Chronicle reported that the girl had not been harmed.

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