Edmund Davis, 36, of Montana, was arrested and charged after police allegedly found explicit child pornography on his phone, authorities say
A Montana man linked to a teenager who had been missing for five years is facing charges after police allegedly found child pornography on his phone, authorities say.
On Monday, Edmund Davis, 36, of Chinook, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of abuse of children related to material found on his cellphone, according to a release from the Montana Attorney General’s Office.
The charges came three months after Alicia Navarro, now 19, showed up at the police station in Havre, to identify herself as a girl who had gone missing from Glendale, Ariz., in Sept. 2019 when she was 14.
On July 23, she told officers she wished to be taken off the missing persons list because “she wanted to begin her life as an adult,” according to the affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
Officers in Havre notified the FBI and Glendale police.
A man whose identity was not released at the time was detained and questioned and then released, the Associated Press reported.
Three days later, police executed a search warrant on an apartment where Navarro was living with Davis, who authorities have identified as her boyfriend, the affidavit states.
When Navarro opened the door, she told officers she was the only one there, the affidavit states. Officers saw Davis in the kitchen behind her allegedly throwing a cellphone into the garbage and placing items on top of the phone. Officers seized three cellphones, including the one in the garbage, as well as an HP laptop and an Xbox One console, according to the affidavit.
After obtaining a search warrant for the items, authorities found explicit suspected child abuse sexual materials — more than 80 images — on the phone, the affidavit alleges.
Some of the images were children under the age of 13 and some were children under the age of five, the affidavit alleges, and other images are allegedly of boys and prepubescent girls.
The phone also “contained images of infants and toddlers and other computer-generated or animated content showing children being sexualized,” the affidavit alleges.
During their searches, authorities were also trying to gather information about how Navarro came to be living in Havre, according to the affidavit.
Navarro is a “high function autistic child” who was enrolled in school in Phoenix, though she resided in Glendale, the affidavit states.
Her mother, Jessica Nunez, said she suspected her daughter may have been lured to run away by someone she met online, the Associated Press reports. Navarro only took her cell phone and laptop with her when she vanished in 2019, the Associated Press reports.
She had been living with Davis for about a year, neighbors said, the Associated Press reports.
She is now “in a safe place,” Trent Steele, a private investigator who helped search for Navarro through the Anti-Predator Project said, the Associated Press reports.
He is being held on $1 million bond in the Hill County Detention Center. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
The first count of sexual abuse of children for knowingly possessing electronic communication images of a child or children under 12 years of age or younger engaged in sexual conduct carries a 100-year prison sentence, the Attorney General’s Office said in the release.
25 of those years may not be suspended or deferred. The second count of child abuse can result in imprisonment for life with a minimum sentence of four years.
The charges were filed under seal last week to help ensure a safe arrest of the defendant, the Attorney General’s Office said in the release.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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