Suspect in Chippewa County child abduction makes court appearanc - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Suspect in Chippewa County child abduction makes court appearance

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The man accused in a weekend abduction has been held on a $25,000 cash bond.

In a Chippewa County courtroom Monday morning, a judge set the bond for Timothy A. Rathbun, who is accused of taking a young girl from her home and took her to his residence. Rathbun is also not allowed to go within 400 feet of the child's residence.

Our sister station News 18 in Eau Claire spoke with the young girl's family. They told them the 9-year-old is shaken up but is doing OK.


Update (WQOW) - The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department identified the man accused in a weekend abduction as Timothy A. Rathbun. 

According to the Sheriff's Department, Saturday at 5:30 p.m., they received a report of a child abduction in the township of Cleveland. Before the deputies arrived, it was reported that the child was rescued. 

Authorities say Rathbun had taken the victim by force against her will from a neighboring residence and took her to his home. Family friends were able to get the child back from Rathbun after going into his house. They say Rathbun and the child were in the bathroom. 

After the girl was rescued the sheriff's department says an argument ensued between Rathbun and other parties at the neighboring residence. When he went back home gunshots were heard coming from the direction of his residence. 

When authorities arrived and a perimeter was established around Rathbun's house, and other nearby homes were evacuated. Eventually he turned himself over to law enforcement

After Rathbun was taken into custody he told the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department that he wanted to adopt the victim and wanted her to see where she would live. The sheriff's department said the girl did not know Rathbun prior to the abduction attempt. 

Rathbun was booked into the Chippewa County Jail on charges of kidnapping and endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon. He is currently being held in the Chippewa County Jail. 


UPDATE (WQOW) -- A nine year old girl is safe after she was abducted from a home in the township of Cleveland Saturday evening. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office says no one was hurt, and the suspect is now in custody. 

According to Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk, the girl was outside of a home on 21623 176th Street in the Town of Cleveland. She was under the watch of her aunt, who reportedly saw a man lure her niece into his car and drive off.

Family members of the girl followed the man to his home on 21571 176th Street, which Kowalczyk said was about a mile away from where he abducted her. Kowalczyk said family members broke into his home and took the girl back safely. The man, a 57 year old, had barricaded himself in the bathroom.

The family left the home with the girl. At some point, while they were on the man's property, they reported hearing two gun shots. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department surrounded his home and called the regional SWAT Team to assist them.

Kowalczyk said the SWAT Team got to the scene, made contact with the man and he surrendered.  That man is now in custody.  No one was injured.  Officers are now working to obtain a search warrant. The incident remains under investigation and charges are pending. 

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Chippewa County (WQOW) – A nine year old girl was abducted Saturday evening around 5:00 p.m., she has since been reported safe, and the man that abducted her surrendered to officers from the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department just before 8:30 p.m.

According to Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk, the girl was outside of a home on 21623 176th Street in the Town of Cleveland. She was under the watch of her aunt, who reportedly saw a man lure her niece into his car and drive off.

Family members of the girl followed the man to his home on 21571 176th Street, which Kowalczyk said was about a mile away from where he abducted her. Kowalczyk said family members broke into his home and took the girl back safely. The man, a 57 year old, had barricaded himself in the bathroom.

The family left the home with the girl. At some point, while they were on the man's property, they reported hearing two gun shots. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department surrounded his home and called the regional SWAT Team to assist them.

Kowalczyk said as soon as the SWAT Team got to the scene the man surrendered.  That man is now in custody.  No one was injured.  Officers are now working to obtain a search warrant, and the incident remains under investigation.  

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