Posted: Oct 16, 2012 9:31 AM by Judy Slate - MTN News
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 9:11 AM
BOZEMAN- The search for the man suspected of kidnapping and raping a young girl in Cody, Wyoming ended in Montana when police arrested a man from Manhattan, Montana for the crime.
Jesse Speer, 39, faces charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and use of a firearm. He appeared in a Bozeman court Monday after being arrested in Belgrade on Saturday. A warrant says he tried to lure a 11-year-old girl into his SUV by telling her he needed help finding his lost puppy. Police believe he took her, raped her and then she either escaped or he let her go
Speer is a wilderness photographer who lists Bozeman as his home, and by all accounts, he has an accomplished career. He's one of the subjects in an upcoming documentary of photographers called "Beauty and Bread," and also just published a book.
Speer appears to use social media both personally and professionally and although his Facebook page was shut down on Monday, we found a Google+ entry dated October 10th, two days after the kidnapping.
The post stated, "Hope you all are well. I've been too busy to post on social media lately. But, lots of fun photography going on behind the scene. More to come soon."
We also learned that Speer was married to as local woman and has two children. We have chosen not to release her name, and she says she and Speer were together from 2003-2009. She is asking for privacy for herself and her children.
She wrote in a blog that, "my main job now is to protect my children and keep them from hearing about the alleged crimes before they are ready. They are both great kids and love their dad very much. They do not know where he is now and it is very scary for them."
"I have to find out how this is done. It's a nightmare to wake up with your life changed like this. I have talked with his family, his girlfriend, and some mutual friends. We are all in shock, hoping they have the wrong person but afraid that they do not," the post continued.
"Our pain does not compare to the victim's pain, but it is there nonetheless and it's miserable. If he has done this, he has hurt an awful lot of people," she concluded.
Speer waived extradition on Monday and should be back in Wyoming within days to face charges in Cody.