CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – More charges have been added for the man who allegedly kidnapped two children in East Texas, sparking an Amber Alert Tuesday.
32-year-old Jesse Schmidt has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping and continuous sexual assault of a child.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call on Aug. 30 where the caller said they left the children with Schmidt and returned home to find the two children and Schmidt were gone along with numerous firearms.
At around 12 a.m. on Aug. 31, Schmidt’s phone was pinged, indicating that he was in the Kilgore area. The area was checked by the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office and they did not locate Jesse, the children, or the vehicle at that time.
Efforts to find Schmidt and the children continued into the night, eventually leading to an Amber Alert being issued at 5 a.m.
Texas Rangers, FBI and US Marshals were contacted to help the investigation. When the FBI and Rangers arrived, a tip came in that someone had seen Schmidt and the children in the Kilgore Walmart.
Kilgore PD was notified and asked to check security cameras for footage.
At 10:35 a.m., Kilgore Police Department officers found Schmidt and the children outside of the Motel 6 in Kilgore. The two officers took Schmidt into custody and secured the children.
Schmidt was taken to the Kilgore Police Department, and after an interview he was charged with kidnapping and arraigned. The judge issued a $500,000 bond for kidnapping and Schmidt was taken to the Cherokee County Jail.
Additional charges of aggravated kidnapping and continuous sexual assault of a child were added on Thursday.