Crime & Courts

Girl was playing hide and seek when sex offender kidnapped her, Wichita police say

A sex offender charged with kidnapping a girl in Wichita allegedly took the child while she was playing hide and seek with a cousin, police say.

Daniel Alden Withrow is charged in Sedgwick County District Court with kidnapping and attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child — a sex crime. He was arrested by police on May 5, the same day as the alleged crimes.

Police responded that Sunday afternoon to an abduction call outside the White Glove Inn, 11430 W. Kellogg.

An 8-year-old girl who lived at the motel had been playing hide and seek with her cousin before she was kidnapped by Withrow, a police detective wrote in court documents. The affidavit by a detective with the Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit was released Tuesday. It details the allegations against Withrow.

Withrow was a 39-year-old registered child sex offender who worked for a lawn care company. His criminal record includes an aggravated incident liberties with a child conviction in a 1999 Reno County case, Kansas prison records show.

The girl told the detective that while she was playing with her cousin, Withrow approached them after waving from the tree line behind the motel. He then told the the two girls that they should split up when hiding.

After the girls split up, Withrow “put his hand over her mouth and told her ‘don’t say anything’ as he took her into the shed against her will,” the detective wrote. The girl said Withrow then touched her under her shirt and tried to pull her pants down.

The cousin, who is also 8 years old, told the detective that she went to hide in a different area. Withrow had told her to go that direction, she said. When she looked back, she couldn’t see the other girl. She then called for her, and she ran out of a shed crying.

A police captain previously said the girl “yelled and screamed real loud, which scared him away.” She ran to her mother, who called 911.

Withrow ran back to the trees, got on a green lawnmower and drove away toward a cemetery, a 9-year-old boy told police, according to the affidavit.

Withrow was arrested later that same day at his home.

In an interview with police, Withrow admitted to telling the girls they should split up while hiding and that he grabbed a girl and put his hand over her mouth, but he denied touching her anywhere other than her mouth and shoulder or taking her to the storage shed.

Withrow said he was mowing at Resthaven Cemetery when he had to use the restroom and went to the tree line, the affidavit states. He claimed that he became scared while urinating because he saw the two girls and knew that he is a felon and registered sex offender.

Not knowing what else to do, he decided to wave at the girls, Withrow said. The girls had been hiding in their game, and he told them they could hide better if they split up.

Withrow said he grabbed one of the girls and put his hand over her mouth when she started to scream. He told the detective that he “was afraid that she was going to tell someone that she saw him urinating so he told her not to say anything as he covered her mouth.” He said the girl was scared and was trying to get away as he held her.

Withrow claimed that he never took the girl to the shed and that he never touched the girl’s stomach or tried to take off her pants.

Withrow, who is now 40 after spending his birthday in jail, remains in the Sedgwick County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

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