By Michelle Guffey
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen police are curious as to how a 22-year-old Killeen man was able to be a suspect in the kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl while still wearing an electronic monitoring device on his ankle, a detective said Friday.
Michael Andrea Larkin Jr. was arrested Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping of a local girl on July 1 from her house on Meadowbrook Drive. He was arraigned Thursday morning, and a $1 million bond was set.
Larkin was under house arrest at his home at 3408 Bamboo Drive in Killeen after being indicted by a Coryell County grand jury on a March 9 charge of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault that took place at an elementary school in Copperas Cove.
At the time of his arrest Wednesday evening, Larkin was wearing an electronic monitoring device that was ordered by Judge Phillip Zeigler of the 52nd District Court as a condition of his probation. Larkin was out on a $40,000 bond, as well.
Were looking into how he was able to get out and about, said Killeen Police Detective Ronnie Supak.
Larkin, a former Fort Hood soldier, was required to wear the bracelet after his arrest in Coryell County because court and military officials viewed him as a flight risk. Court records detail Larkins procurement of a vehicle and an attempt to purchase a plane ticket to Los Angeles, where his mother lives, after he was placed on restriction by his military chain of command.
Court records show that Larkin was restricted to his house and was allowed to go to church.
An electronic monitoring device is worn around the ankle. A box with a monitor is in the persons residence and has a radio frequency that transmits to a phone. If a monitored person leaves his or her designated area, a signal is sent through the phone to a monitoring company.
Each monitoring company does things a little different, Supak said.
Usually, if the monitoring company is unable to make contact with the offender, it will notify a probation officer.
Its kind of relaxed, Supak said.
A spokesman for the Coryell County District Attorneys office said that as far as they know, the device wasnt malfunctioning.
Were not prepared to discuss that, the spokesman stated when questioned about why the police werent alerted to Larkin leaving his home on July 1.
According to the arrest affidavit, the 7-year-old girl was outside her home when a man pulled up in a car and told her to get in.
The little girl stated that the man then picked her up, put her in the car and drove away.
Other children told police they were playing outside when they heard a scream and saw a man grab the victim and put her in a gold car and drive off.
The victim was later found crying and walking along a road in Nolanville. Police said she had not been sexually assaulted.
The Copperas Cove incident took place at Hettie Halstead Elementary. Police say a man walked into the school and waited in a girls bathroom where he sexually assaulted a 7-year-old girl.
Larkin was arrested in that case and released on a $40,000 bond. The trial in that case is still pending.
Police received a tip from an individual who used to be in Larkins military unit, saying he recognized the description of the suspect in the July 1 kidnapping. The description had been published and broadcast locally.
The kidnapped girl made a positive identification of Larkin in a photo lineup, Killeen police said.
Theres still a lot of work to do, Supak said. But were glad were where were at.
Police are still investigating the June 8 kidnapping and sexual assault of another 7-year-old girl that occurred in the 1800 block of Kingwood Drive in Killeen. Larkin has not been charged in that incident.
As a result, Supak said there is a heightened awareness of stranger-related kidnappings among parents
Larkin was a specialist with Company A, 15th Main Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. The military was investigating allegations that he molested two women while stationed in Iraq.
A 1st Cavalry spokesman confirmed Thursday that Larkin was discharged from the military on June 16 for commission of a serious crime.
While Larkin sits in the Bell County Jail on a $1 million bond, he still awaits trial in the Copperas Cove incident. Larkins attorney was granted a continuance on June 21. Larkin has been charged with kidnapping and sexual assault but has not been convicted of any crime.
According to the Texas Department of Safetys sex offender Web site, there are currently 200 registered sex offenders living in Killeen and 33 in Harker Heights.
Parents for Megans Law, a nonprofit organization, re-ported that as of April 22, there were 46,484 sex offenders registered in Texas and 551,987 registered nationally.
Contact Michelle Guffey at firstname.lastname@example.org