Maine man arrested in teen girl’s abduction

Posted Sept. 28, 2009, at 11:12 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:56 a.m.
Archie Whalen.  (Photo courtesy of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Police Department)
Archie Whalen. (Photo courtesy of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Police Department)

ELLSWORTH — A man from Maine has been arrested in Wisconsin after allegedly kidnapping a girl from her home in Kentucky.

Archie Whalen, 43, was found with the 13-year-old girl in the parking lot of a hotel in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, according to officials. Whalen allegedly had taken the girl from her home in Owensboro, Ky., on Saturday morning.

Dan Trelka, chief of police in Sturgeon Bay, said Monday morning that a nationwide Amber Alert drew the kidnapping case to his department’s attention. Whalen’s red Ford Explorer had been spotted Saturday afternoon headed north on Interstate 43 in Wisconsin.

When Sturgeon Bay police contacted the FBI to inquire about the case, federal officials told them Whalen had a sister who lived in Sturgeon Bay, Trelka said. So police were looking for the truck when it was spotted pulling into a local motel parking lot early yesterday morning, the chief said.

“He was just pulling into the parking lot when they sprang on him,” Trelka said.

Trelka said the girl had not been harmed while traveling with Whalen.

Sturgeon Bay is on Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, which projects into Lake Michigan northeast of Green Bay.

According to media reports, Whalen became a suspect after he and the girl were recorded on a video camera at a McDonald’s in Kentucky on Saturday afernoon. The girl’s mother, who was familiar with Whalen, identified him from the video, news reports indicated.

One news report quoted a Kentucky law enforcement official as saying that the girl’s family had just moved to Kentucky from Maine last week.

Trelka said Monday that police believe Whalen is a resident of Bristol, Maine, in Lincoln County. Some reports of the alleged kidnapping indicate that Whalen is from Hancock County, where court records indicate he has faced charges such as burglary and theft and of operating a vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked. The operating charge was dismissed from Ellsworth District Court in October 2008, according to the records.

Trelka said that though the kidnapping charge originates in Kentucky, he expects that Whalen will be handed over to the FBI.

“He’s probably going to be prosecuted federally,” Trelka said.

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