MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A man accused of abducting his two daughters from a Kansas home where their two brothers were killed has been going through a divorce with the children’s mother, authorities said Monday.
Maj. James Sherley, of the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department, said 40-year-old Donny Jackson and his wife are estranged and that he had “on-again, off-again access to the children.”
The investigation began at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday after one of the siblings didn’t show up for a soccer game, leading the children’s mother and paternal grandmother to go to Jackson’s home in Leavenworth, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Kansas City, Kansas. The bodies of 14-year-old Logan Jackson and 12-year-old Austin Jackson were then found — one by the family and the other by law enforcement. Sherley declined to release the cause of death or comment on motive.
An Amber Alert was issued for their younger sisters, 3-year-old Aven Jackson and 7-year-old Nora Jackson. A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper spotted the girls with Jackson after pulling over his car near Kansas’ border with Oklahoma for a traffic infraction shortly before the discovery of the boys’ bodies. That helped law enforcement expand the Amber Alert, which Sherley said worked “flawlessly” and led to a flood of tips.
Jackson was arrested later that night near Erick, Oklahoma. The girls were taken from him unharmed and were returned to their mother over the weekend. Sherley said he didn’t know where Jackson was headed.
Jackson is jailed in Oklahoma while awaiting extradition to Kansas. Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said he is waiting for the investigation to be complete before making a charging decision. He said he didn’t know whether Jackson had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Marisa Clausen, who created a GoFundMe account to support the children’s mother, whom she identified as Tara Jackson, declined an interview request and asked that the family be given privacy, The Wichita Eagle reports. She didn’t immediately reply to a message from The Associated Press.
The next status hearing in the couple’s divorce had been scheduled for Nov. 12, court records show.
The Jackson girls have been recovered and the suspect detained, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol located the suspect vehicle near Erick, Oklahoma. Troopers detained Donny Jackson and the kids were recovered.
Authorities released no additional details.
LEAVENWORTH COUNTY—Authorities issued an Amber Alert Saturday afternoon for two girls in Kansas.
The KBI is looking for 7-year-old Nora Jackson and 3-year-old Aven Jackson. They were last seen in the 14900 block of Hillside Road in Leavenworth.
The 911 call that began this incident was made by an adult that discovered the homicide scene, so the actual time of the abduction and homicide is unknown, according to the KBI.
At 4:30pm, we learned that the Kansas Highway Patrol made an unrelated car stop on the suspect’s vehicle on Highway 169 near the OK border today at approximately 12:35 p.m. The abducted children were in the vehicle. It is now believed Jackson may be traveling in Oklahoma, Texas or Arkansas.
At 5:05p.m., the Arkansas State Police agreed to launch an Arkansas AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the abducted children, due to the proximal sighting at the OK / KS border.
Nora has blonde-brown shoulder-length hair, a slender build and blue or hazel eyes. It’s unknown what she was last seen wearing. Aven also has blonde hair, blue eyes and a slender build.
Just after 1p.m. Saturday, the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in the 14900 block of Hillside and deputies located a two deceased boys in a home and the girls were mising, according to a media release.
The girls’ father, Donny Jackson, is suspected in the abduction. Donny Jackson, 40, is 5-foot-11 and weighs 190 pounds. He has long brown hair with a slight red color and blue eyes. He also has a full beard.
There is no known direction of travel, but Jackson drives a black 2008 Honda Accord with Kansas license 266MXB.