MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – More details are emerging in the house fire that resulted in a 5-year-old girl being kidnapped in Bemidji.
According to the Bemidji Police Department, around 3:30 a.m. June 22 fire officials responded to a call of a fire in the 3900 block of Irvine Avenue.
Upon arrival, crews put out the flames and investigated the home. Inside, they found the body of a woman badly burned. Police identified the woman as 35-year-old Melissa Sue Norby and determined she was the owner of the home.
According to the warrant, she was found with her arms bound and was positioned underneath a mattress.
Officials learned that 5-year-old Brittany Blacer was staying with Norby. They were unable to located her.
Through interviews officials were able to locate a person of interest, 32-year-old Jacob William Kinn, of Bemidji, in Balcer’s disappearance.
According to previous court documents, Kinn had recently re-kindled a relationship with the victim.
Officers also learned that Kinn was on probation from a 2013 child pornography conviction. They spoke with his probation officer and brought him in for an interview the evening of June 22.
After speaking with Kinn, search crews were able to locate Balcer on the morning of June 23 in a trailer in Bigfork that was owned by Kinn’s family. She was found wearing pajamas with her legs taped together with duct tape.
Bemidji police are now filing an affidavit to access Norby’s Facebook profile. Friend of Norby’s told police that Norby used the profile to find dates.
According to the affidavit, police are wanting to gain access to Norby’s profile in order to find saved conversations and access other users’ accounts.
Kinn has been charged with the kidnapping of Balcer and is currently awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.