A Roeland Park man facing child pornography charges chatted online with a Florida man about killing and eating children, according to court records filed in the Floridian’s criminal case.
Michael D. Arnett, 38, and the Floridian had “extremely graphic discussions regarding kidnapping, sexually abusing, murdering and eating of children,” according to the court papers recently filed in federal court in Florida.
Prosecutors charged the Florida man, Ronald William Brown, 57, on July 20 in federal court in Tampa with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and possession of child pornography.
Arnett has been in federal custody since May, when he was charged in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., with producing and possessing child pornography.
Evidence seized in a search of Arnett’s home and computers included images of nude toddler-aged boys lying in roaster pans inside of an open oven, according to court documents filed in support of the charges.
In the transcript of conversations filed in Brown’s case, Arnett claimed to have already killed and eaten a child; Brown expressed the desire to do so.
“Always seems such a shame to have to kill them to eat them, but it’s necessary,” Arnett allegedly wrote in August 2011.
After his arrest, Brown told federal investigators that he chatted online with several others about strangling children, but he said those were only fantasies, and he “would never really do this.”
Charges filed against Arnett do not mention the alleged online conversations, but a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas said the investigation is ongoing.
“The U.S. attorney in Kansas is aware of the charges filed in Florida,” said spokesman James Cross.
The investigation of Arnett originated in Boston. Federal agents there contacted their Kansas City counterparts in an effort to identify victims depicted in child pornography images.
A water bottle visible in one photograph contained a logo from a Johnson County aquatic center. Investigators identified two teenagers who had attended a Shawnee Mission elementary school. One of the boys told investigators that Arnett had taken the pictures of them when they were younger, according to the court documents.
Evidence seized by investigators after Arnett’s arrest led them to Brown and the online conversations. Court documents describe Brown as a puppeteer who performed at schools, churches and child birthday parties.
Arnett’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.