North Missouri man charged with kidnapping, sexual trafficking of a child and sodomy

Sex Trafficking

A 65-year old Denver, Missouri man has been charged in Worth County with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree sexual trafficking of a child, and first-degree sodomy.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the arrest of Austin Myers was the result of an investigation by sheriff’s offices in Worth County, Missouri, and Columbia County, Georgia, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Nodaway County Juvenile Office, and the assistance of Voices of Courage Child Advocacy Center in St. Joseph.

The patrol reports a juvenile girl from Georgia was transported from Myers’ residence in Denver. The Columbia County, Georgia Sheriff’s office, on Wednesday evening, informed the Worth County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office of the possible location of a runaway juvenile. The juvenile was reported to have run away from her home in Georgia and possibly at a residence in Denver, Missouri.

Deputies from Worth County and a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper responded to the residence and made contact with the juvenile and Myers. The preliminary investigation indicated the juvenile had run away from her home in Georgia and was at the residence by her own choice. The juvenile was taken into custody and transported from the residence by the Nodaway County Juvenile Office, which serves Worth County.

On Thursday, the Voices of Courage Child Advocacy Center of St. Joseph interviewed the juvenile with investigators from the patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control present at the interview. The interview and further investigative leads indicated the juvenile had not been at Myers’ residence willingly.

On Friday, investigators from the Division of Drug and Crime Control along with deputies from the Worth County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Myers residence in Denver. Investigators seized computer equipment and forensic examinations were made on the computer equipment. As a result of the investigation, Myers was arrested and taken to the Worth County Sheriff’s Office. The Worth County Prosecuting Attorney’s office formally charged Myers with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree sexual trafficking of a child, and first-degree sodomy. Myer’s bond was set at $125,000.

Myers was being held at the Ringgold County Jail in Mount Ayr, Iowa based on a standing agreement between Missouri and Iowa and the two sheriff’s offices. The investigation was continuing by the patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Worth County Sheriff’s Department.