UPDATE: Man arrested, charged with kidnapping in case involving two children from East Texas

Crime & Public Safety

UPDATE: A man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping on Tuesday. An Amber Alert was activated early morning for the two children, and they were later found in Kilgore.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Jesse Schmidt has been booked into the Cherokee County Jail and his bond was set at $500,000.

“This case is still active and more charges are pending at this time,” said the sheriff’s office.

Jesse Schmidt

RUSK, Texas (KETK) – Two children from an early morning Amber Alert have been found in the Kilgore area, Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said.

11-year-old Desmond Wells and 10-year-old Ashlynn Wells were found with 32-year-old Jesse Schmidt in Kilgore on Tuesday. The children have been released into CPS custody.

An Amber Alert was issued around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning for the two children out of the Rusk area.

Sheriff Dickson thanked the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Rangers, FBI, US Marshals, Kilgore PD and numerous other agencies involved in the investigation. He also thanked citizens that called in with tips.

The case is still active pending further investigation.


Amber Alert info: Desmond is 5’5″ with blond hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a blue or black t-shirt with gray shorts and Wolverine hiking boots.

Ashlynn is 5’2″ with blond hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a peach t-shirt, peach shorts, and gray or pink Nike tennis shoes.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has named the suspect as 32-year-old Jesse Ray Schmidt. He is 5’10”, 160 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

They are asking the public to be on the lookout for a black Honda Civic with the license plate number BNX6155.

This is a developing situation. Please check back for updates.

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