Jesse Ray Schmidt, 32, of Texas, United States has been arrested by the Kilgore Police Department. He was charged with kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping and continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Schmidt was living with the family of Desman Wells, 11, and Ashlynn Wells, 10. The two children were last seen in Rusk, Cherokee County, Texas at 1:15 p.m. on August 30, 2021 and Amber Alert was later issued.
It is still unclear why Schmidt took Desman and Ashlynn that day. At around 10:35 a.m. on August 31, 2021, Kilgore Police Department officers Joey Johnston and Joey Chitwood found the two children with Schmidt outside of the Motel 6 in Kilgore.
Desman and Ashlynn were placed into Child Protective Services custody but were later released. Schmidt was booked into the Cherokee County Jail and his bail was set at $500,000.
“I would like to thank the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Rangers, Federal Bureau of Investigations, US Marshalls, Kilgore Police Department, along with numerous other agencies that assisted in the investigation,” Cherokee County sheriff Brent Dickson stated. “I would like to thank the numerous citizens that called with tips. This case is still active pending further investigation.”
In other news, the Kilgore Police Department is searching for Dakota Conert, 18, of Kilgore. Between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. on August 30, 2021, she left her apartment in Kilgore in a pickup with an unknown description and since that time, her friends and family have had no further contact with her.
Conert was last seen wearing a grey quarter zip shirt and shorts. If you have information about her whereabouts, contact Kilgore Police Department detective Joshua Sims at 903-218-6907 or email Joshua.Sims@cityofkilgore.com and if you want to submit a tip anonymously, text KILGORE and your tip to 847411 (tip411).