BEMIDJI, Minn. - Two months have passed since Jacob Kinn was charged with kidnapping a 5-year-old Bemidji girl. She disappeared from a trailer that burned to the ground, killing the girl's babysitter, Melissa Norby.
Kinn still has not been charged with killing Norby. And a search warrant filed this week reveals how complicated the investigation has become, stating police believe Norby - the babysitter who was one of the little girl's mom's best friends - may have helped Kinn plan the kidnapping.
Police found the child alive in a camper near Bigfork, Minn., on land owned by Kinn's brother, the day after she disappeared.
When police began to investigate, they spoke with several of Norby's friends who identified Kinn as someone who's had a sexual relationship with Norby, according to the 11 search warrants filed so far in the case.
Police arrested Kinn, a sex offender from a prior child pornography conviction, after an interrogation at the Bemidji police station. According to the latest warrant, Kinn admitted during interrogation to having a prior relationship with Norby. And he claimed that a year and a half ago, the two of them had sex with the 5-year-old kidnapping victim in the room, nude.
According to the warrant, detectives reviewed text messages between Norby and Jacob Kinn. The detective writes that the two of them had been "apparently attempting to acquire the child for the purpose of sexually assaulting her." It states Norby and Kinn discussed possible kidnapping scenarios, such as Norby claiming to police she was assaulted by a stranger who snatched the girl.
Norby's body was found under a mattress with her hands bound, according to the warrant, which does not specify her cause of death.
In that mobile home fire, investigators suspected arson from the very beginning, according to the warrants. The fire marshal found a gas can inside the rubble. And upon searching Kinn's home, police say found a row of similar gas cans with one apparently missing. In addition, one witness who saw Kinn the morning after the fire told police Kinn's hand was bandaged and he smelled majorly of gasoline. The witness said Kinn told him he burnt his hand.
The warrant also says, in the month leading up to the abduction, Kinn searched the internet for how to get horse tranquilizers, pediatric sedation, and Roofies; and also researched the address of the little girl's family.
Kinn has not been charged with arson, murder or sexual assault -- although the 11 search warrants filed so far clearly state police are looking into all three additional charges. The warrants state the girl showed clear signs of sexual assault.
Kinn is due back in court in September.