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Woman charged with kidnapping her 12-year-old relative

Crime Watch

IDAHO FALLS — A local woman is charged with felony second-degree kidnapping after she allegedly convinced a 12-year-old girl to run away from home.

Jodi Liane Murdock, 53, was arrested on June 1 after police say she kidnapped the girl, who is her relative.

Idaho Falls police were called to an Idaho Falls home on June 1 after receiving a report that a juvenile was missing. A woman at the home told police that her 12-year-old daughter had gone missing around 6 p.m. after the two had gotten into an argument. The woman said the daughter became very upset and left.

The woman said she found her daughter’s phone and saw that she had been communicating with a relative who was identified as Murdock. The child told Murdock that she had gotten in trouble, to which Murdock responded that she could “talk to her and she will not tell anyone.”

The child told Murdock she was not allowed to leave her house, but Murdock allegedly told her to call another one of her relatives and say she was hurt and needed to be picked up. According to police reports, the child was not hurt.

Murdock then told the child that another relative was on their way to pick her up from her home. The child said that she was not allowed outside, to which Murdock responded, “run go run away”.

When police talked to the child’s mother, she told them her daughter was not safe with Murdock because she has previously been charged with injury to a child.

Court documents state, “[Murdock] has done a lot of questionable things and [the child’s mother] believed that if [the child] were to be with [Murdock], [the child] will get hurt in some capacity.”

Police went to Murdock’s house and were unable to locate the two. Officers contacted the relative who said Murdock and the girl might be at a neighbor’s house.

When police arrived at the neighbor’s house, they looked up the license plate on a truck in the driveway and discovered the owner of the truck was a registered sex offender. Police knocked on the door, and the owner of the truck answered. The man told police that Murdock and the girl were in the bedroom, and that he had been sleeping on the couch.

According to police, the child was in the bedroom and appeared to be crying.

Murdock told officers that she “did not orchestrate the taking of [the child] and that [another relative] called her and said that he had her.” Murdock stated that she knew that the other relative may be charged, so she told him to bring the child to her.

The child was returned to her mother. Murdock was taken to the Bonneville County Jail and booked on a charge of felony second-degree kidnapping.

Murdock is scheduled for an initial appearance in court on July 15. Alhough she has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean she committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If convicted, Murdock could serve up to 25 years in prison.

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