PITTSBURG COUNTY, Okla. – Two women accused of kidnapping an Oklahoma teen have been released from jail after the Pittsburg County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against them.
According to the arrest affidavit, the 14-year-old victim told police he started talking to 35-year-old Kriste Aragon through Xbox Live.
The boy told police the conversations became sexual, and the pair exchanged explicit pictures. Aragon, who owns a candy shop in New Mexico, then reportedly told the child that she “wanted to have sex with him.”
When the boy got into Aragon’s car, another woman, 29-year-old Melissa Goelz, was also there.
At that point, the women told the victim they were going to New Mexico and that he “would never be coming back home.”
“It was very alarming. We knew it was going to be a bad situation if we didn’t act fast and get the boy located,” Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris told KRQE.
During the 13-hour drive to New Mexico, the victim says he was sexually assaulted multiple times.
Once the victim’s family reported him missing, Oklahoma authorities began looking at his online history. They were able to track the phone number linked to Aragon’s Xbox account back to her candy business in New Mexico.
Aragon and Goelez were arrested and sent to the Pittsburg County Jail to await trial.
However, they were released this week.
Pittsburg County District Attorney Chuck Sullivan told KJRH that his office was not prepared for the preliminary hearing. He said the preliminary hearing was set just 20 days after the initial hearing, and his investigators needed more time.
“We have additional information that we didn’t have yet — additional evidence,” Sullivan said. “We moved to continue that hearing. The judge was only able to give us a couple of weeks.”
Sullivan says he believes the women committed other crimes during the alleged kidnapping. Since everything wasn’t in place, Sullivan said they decided to drop the charges so they could refile with all the evidence collected from other agencies.
He says the women were able to get out of jail because the attorney did not immediately refile charges.
“That’s the mistake,” Sullivan said. “That’s where we screwed up. Normally, we would dismiss and then immediately refile and they wouldn’t get out of jail. I don’t have a good explanation for that.”