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Kathy Allen (abduction/murder): 1987


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 9/11/2023 at 15:45:26

13 Apr 1987

Girl's body found; suspects arrested
Autopsy due today

12-year-old's body found 7 miles north of Kirksville, Mo.

Courier staff writers

Autopsy findings are expected today in the death of Ottumwa girl who authorities say was kidnapped early Saturday and whose body was found Sunday in northeast Missouri.

Kathy Allen 12, was apparently abducted from her family's home at Hidden Valley Mobile Home Park west of Ottumwa. Her body was found seven miles north of Kirksville, Mo., at around 10 a.m. Sunday.

Andrew Six, 21, of rural Pershing and Donald Eugene "Gene" Petary, of Ottumwa were arrested in Moscow, Texas, on Iowa warrants and charged with kidnapping the girl; the attempted murder of her mother; and robbery at the family's home.

A U.S. magistrate in Des Moines issued a warrant on Sunday charging Six and Petary with kidnapping under federal law, officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The girl's body was found near U.S. Highway 63 about seven miles north of Kirksville, Mo., and about 50 miles south of Ottumwa.

Eugene Meyer, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said authorities used information obtained from the two men to locate the body.

Her body was taken to Columbia, Mo., for an autopsy on Sunday. Additional charges may be issued as a result of the report, authorities said.

Six and Petary were arrested after authorities learned that the two might be headed for Texas, Meyer said. The two have been turned over to the FBI.

**Volunteers comb Wapello County for kidnapped girl - 3

Law enforcement officers in northeast Missouri began a search near Kirksville early Sunday after receiving descriptions of the area where the body could be found from officials in Texas, Adair County (Mo.) Sheriff Randy Forquer said.

Forquer said the description was provided by the two men arrested in the investigation.

Before the girl was found, the Wapello County Sheriff's Department organized a Sunday morning foot search to comb wooded areas on the outskirts of Ottumwa. Joining in the to-hour search were deputies, reserve officers, the department's police dog, B.J., and 80 to 100 civilian volunteers, Deputy Sheriff Ray Palmer said.

Before the kidnapping, the girl's mother, Janet Allen, 46, was slashed in the throat in what investigators are saying was a robbery at the Allen trailer sometime after midnight Friday.

Janet Allen was listed in serious but stable condition Sunday in the intensive care unit at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

DCI Agent Wayne Sheston said Petary knew the Allen family "through a woman he lives with," but that he had not been close to the family.

The men, Sheston said, went to the Allen home Friday night to look at a pickup truck that Donald Allen, 55, the girl's father, was trying to sell.

Tony Steele, a neighbor who lives across the street from the Allens, said the men did not return from their test drive until about midnight, and then allegedly put a knife to Janet Allen's throat and demanded the vehicle's title.

Donald Allen, who is recovering from a recent heart attack, was bound with tape to a chair and gagged, but manage to escape, Steele said.

In a fight that followed, Janet Allen's throat was cut and the girl was kidnapped, authorities said.

In Texas, FBI Agent Andrew Duffin told The Courier that Petary and Six were charged "with the forcible entry into a residence where they allegedly administered a brutal beatings to a man, his wife and a 19-year-old daughter, after which they abducted the couple's 12-year-old daughter fleeing with her."

Sheston said, though, that the Allens' other daughter, Christine - who is 17, not 19 - was not beaten but was in the home at the time.

The Allens also have three other children, Richard, 22, of Ottumwa; Joy of Keosauqua; and Debbie of Missouri.

The Allens reportedly have lived in the Ottumwa mobile home park since June 1986, after moving to Ottumwa from Hedrick.
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13 Apr 1987

Kathy 'friendly, well-liked'

Courier staff writer

Kathy Allen had planned to be in the Special Olympics competition in Ottumwa on Saturday.

Her events would have been the broad jump and 50-meter run.

"Oh, she lived to run," said Joan Wingate, teacher's aide at Wilson School in Ottumwa, where Kathy went to school.

Kathy was kidnapped from her family's home early Saturday morning. She was found dead in Missouri Sunday morning.

The blonde, blue-eyed girl "was very friendly, a very well-liked little girl," Wingate said. "She was very conscious of people and was always concerned" with others. She "never complained about a class and always tried her best."

Kathy was a sixth grader in Jan Houston's special education class, where Wingate is an aide. This was Wingate's second year to work with Kathy.

News of the girl's death came as "a very great shock, because Kathy was very excited about having Easter break, and her sisters, who work out of town were coming home," Wingate told The Courier on Sunday.

Kathy and her five classmates had an Easter party at school and Kathy was feeling pretty happy when she went home last week, Wingate said.

Wilson School PrincipalRonald Roggentien described Kathy as a "likable little girl," with "a very good personality."

He said the teachers at Wilson probably will discuss Kathy's death with their students and talk about "grief, the sadness. And they will talk about the good parts also - of remembering."
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13 Apr 1987

Two men arrested in Texas

Courier area editor

Texas authorities say their familiarity with the vehicle being driven by the two Iowa men charged with the abduction of the 12-year-old Ottumwa girl helped them find and arrest the two men 24 hours of the crime.

Donald Eugene "Gene" Petary, 49, of Pershing and Andrew Wessel Six, 22, of Ottumwa were arrested about 10 p.m. Saturday near Moscow, Texas, by officers of the texas Department of Public Safety.

The men are being held in the Polk County (Texas) Jail and will appear before a U.S. magistrate in Beaumont, Texas - north of Houston - today, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Johnie Joyce.

FBI special agent Andrew J. Duffin said Petary and Six had "close ties' in Beaumont and surrounding areas.

Because the men have "spent significant amounts of time in those areas," authorities were "aware of the vehicle that the two men were believed to be in," he said.

Duffing said the 1981 Mercury two-door hatchback being driven by the two suspects was spotted by Texas Department of Public Safety officers on routine patrol.

The car was stopped on U.S. Highway 90 about half way between Houston and Beaumont.

Officers saw Petary as he got out of the vehicle, Duffin continued. "But Six spotted the DPS vehicle and drove away," beginning a high-speed chase.

Polk County deputies later took Petary into custody. Six was captured by the Texas Highway Patrol.

After being interrogated by the FBI, the men gave authorities information that led Missouri authorities to the body of Kathy Allen, 12, according to Adair County (Mo.) Sheriff Randy Forquer.

The girl's body was found about seven miles north of Kirksville, Mo., in Schuyler County.

Source: "Scrapbook 1986 - 1988", Pg. 383/384,
Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, Van Buren Co., IA


Van Buren Documents maintained by Rich Lowe.
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