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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Court docs: Man accused of kidnapping 15-year-old Idaho girl allegedly sent ransom texts to her family

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 8, 2021

Jonathon W. Bowles, 36, faces several criminal charges during his first appearance in Spokane County Superior Court, including kidnapping a 15-year-old girl and assaulting a police officer.  (Sydney Brown / The Spokesman-Review)
Jonathon W. Bowles, 36, faces several criminal charges during his first appearance in Spokane County Superior Court, including kidnapping a 15-year-old girl and assaulting a police officer. (Sydney Brown / The Spokesman-Review)

A man accused of kidnapping a teenage girl from Idaho allegedly sent threatening messages to her mother in the hours after she was reported missing, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Jonathon W. Bowles, 36, was booked into Spokane County Jail on a $1 million bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon. Bowles was charged with second-degree kidnapping, third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, possession of a stolen car, and attempting to elude, resist and obstruct officers.

During Bowles’ first appearance, prosecutor said the suspect could face first-degree kidnapping after the affidavit revealed the teen girl’s mother and aunt both received a message from an unknown number that demanded a $7,000 ransom and threatened to kill the 15-year-old if it was not met.

On Friday afternoon, the victim’s mother noticed her daughter had not come home from her school in Lewiston, according to the affidavit. She noticed the teenager had left a phone at home and on it found several sexually suggestive photos of the victim and Bowles, court documents said. Around that time, she received the threatening text, which she showed to responding law enforcement.

Lewiston police learned Bowles was wanted out of Garfield County on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to court documents.

The victim met Bowles through Snapchat in March , she told investigators. She told Bowles her age, and he had picked her up from her high school on several occasions, the victim told investigators. The victim said their encounters became sexual during this time and their “relationship” was consensual.

Around 3 p.m. Friday, the victim was told to meet Bowles behind a church near Lewiston High School because he said he was fleeing from criminal charges of rape, according to the affidavit. She left her phone at school, she told investigators, and Bowles removed the SD cards from his phone. Bowles then left Lewiston with the victim and drove into Oregon, according to the affidavit.

At some point Friday night, Bowles drove back toward Idaho, where the victim said they left Bowles’ car on a stranger’s property so Bowles could evade police, according to the affidavit.

The victim told investigators they then walked to Starbuck, Washington, and got a ride to Pomeroy, Washington, with plans for Bowles to surrender.

In Pomeroy, they came across a 2007 maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer with the keys inside and drove it to Spokane, she told investigators. The car was soon reported stolen, according to the affidavit.

On Monday, an Amber Alert from the Lewiston Police Department with information on the SUV and the teenager prompted a citywide search for Bowles, which ended after police received a call identifying the allegedly stolen Trailblazer driving north on State Route 27 in Spokane Valley on Tuesday evening, according to the affidavit.

Bowles attempted to shake off the police pursuit, almost striking several cars in the process, according to accounts in the court documents by responding officers.

A Spokane County deputy soon saw Bowles and the 15-year-old girl walking on a residential street. When the officer attempted to detain Bowles, the suspect ran and then allegedly assaulted the officer.

The girl was taken into protective custody and given food before she was reunited with her family, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

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