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Thread: Former Marine knew she was 12
07-16-03, 11:27 AM #1
Former Marine knew she was 12
Missing girl safe, ex-Marine held
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
The couple's disappearance sparked international police search
LEIGH, England (CNN) -- A 12-year-old girl has been reunited with her parents after she went missing for four days with a 31-year-old former U.S. Marine who she met on the Internet.
Police said Wednesday Shevaun Pennington was found on her way back to Britain after she had traveled to continental Europe with Toby Studabaker, who was arrested separately in Germany.
"I'm obviously very relieved," said Greater Manchester Police Superintendent Peter Mason.
He said German authorities detained Studabaker in Frankfurt Wednesday for child abduction "under the power of an international arrest warrant sworn out within the Greater Manchester police area."
A law enforcement source in Britain said authorities "can prove he knew she was 12" but did not say how. That information enabled authorities to get the arrest warrant, the source said.
Studabaker had told his brother that he believed the girl, Shevaun Pennington, was 19, the brother told CNN.
Supt. Mason said Shevaun had split up with Studabaker before traveling back in Britain. "I'm not aware of where they separated. Toby was arrested in Frankfurt and Shevaun is now in this country," Mason said.
Studabaker did not hand himself in to authorities nor was he arrested at the airport in Frankfurt, Mason said, adding it was not clear how long he was in Germany.
"Through our investigations, we found out she was coming into Manchester via plane," Mason said. "We knew beforehand she was coming back to this country."
It was too early to say whether Studabaker will be brought to Britain, but "we'll be looking at bringing him back," Mason said. He said he was not aware if Shevaun had been harmed in any way.
Mason said he assumed the girl's parents were "great elated" by the news that she was safe and in the country.
Studabaker's arrest in Frankfurt -- made with the help of German authorities and the FBI -- came after images of child pornography were found on his computer in the United States, a senior investigative source told CNN.
"It confirmed our worst fears," the source said. "We can prove he knew she was 12."
The pair had last been traced to Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris, where they arrived on a flight Saturday.
Joanna Pennington appealed for her daughter's safe return.
Shevaun telephoned her parents Wednesday morning, saying she was well and not being kept against her will, and was preparing to return, Mason said.
Joanna Pennington, 42, told reporters her daughter was possibly in love with Studabaker, but said she was not concerned. "I understand that she has got feelings for him, and he may have feelings for her ... I just want her back."
Family members and police said the pair had conducted a year-long relationship in Internet chat rooms, and via e-mails, before Studabaker flew to Europe last weekend to meet her.
Studabaker was discharged from the Marines just two weeks ago after serving for more than three years. He was a lance corporal based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The case had increased concern in Britain about so-called "grooming" by adults who contact children via the Internet.
07-16-03, 12:53 PM #2yellowwingGuest Free Member
ABC News shows a picture of here and her father. There is no way anyone could mistake her for 19!
I wonder if the USMJ can try him because he is within the 6 year obligated service window. A civilian court would probably parole him within 12 years. I bet Leavenworth wouldn't let him out for 25 years.
07-16-03, 02:05 PM #3
I understand that they found kiddy-porn on his computer as well. If he has used or abused that child as a child predator, then I would be in favor of trying him by whatever means necessary to get him the longest sentence. If he really has done this then he deserves the term "X-Marine," because we need to "X" him out.
07-16-03, 02:55 PM #4
12 year old act like 12 year old kids will be kids no matter how old they look at his age he can tell a kid when you see one . you know when something is not correct so their no excruse that he did not know how old she was ("It confirmed our worst fears," the source said. "We can prove he knew she was 12." )
First thing as beaing a Marine he should have ask for ID but still i think he should be X out get a Rope .
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