McALESTER, Okla. — Two New Mexico women face kidnapping charges after law enforcement officials allege they met a local 14-year-old boy online, drove to Pittsburg County to pick him up and took him back to New Mexico.
Kristen (Kriste) Aragon, 35, of Farmington, New Mexico, was charged May 4 with felony kidnapping of a child and felony lewd or indecent proposal to a minor, according to documents filed by the office of District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan. Court documents also show Melissa Goelz, 29, of Farmington, New Mexico, was charged with felony kidnapping of a child on May 4 in concert with Aragon.
The FBI presented information requesting warrants for the arrest of the two women and Pittsburg County District Judge Mike Hogan signed the warrants on May 4, according to court documents. Each woman faces a bond of $500,000, court documents state.
The San Juan County, New Mexico, Adult Detention Center confirmed to the News-Capital the two women were arrested and placed in custody May 4 and were awaiting extradition back to Pittsburg County as of press time Tuesday.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office Detective Randy Hass wrote in a probable cause affidavit that on April 16, he was notified by Pittsburg County Undersheriff Frankie McClendon of a father that had come home from work to find his son missing.
Hass asked the father if he had contacted all of the son’s friends in which the father said yes, the affidavit states. The father told Hass that his son spent most of his time playing Xbox LIVE and noticed that his son’s controller and games were gone, but the console was still at the house, the affidavit states.
Both Hass and the father attempted to contact the boy by his cellphone, but the phone kept going to voicemail, the affidavit states.
Hass wrote in the affidavit he was given permission to analyze the Xbox, Hass requested the help of Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Jeff Daniels to analyze the console.
The pair discovered messages between the boy and several different players on the Xbox and were able to identify some of the accounts — with one belonging to “MikenKristeAragon,” the affidavit states.
The detective wrote in the affidavit that he requested an “exigent circumstance historical ping” on the boy’s cellphone to identify his most recent location and the information provided showed the boy’s last location was west of Henryetta on Interstate 40 at 1:45 p.m. on April 16. The information provided to the detective also showed several phone calls with a number from the 505-area code the morning of April 16, the affidavit states.
Hass conducted a Google search of the phone number and found it to be out of Farmington, New Mexico and a Facebook search of the number came up with a business called “Kriste’s Chocolate Factory” out of Farmington, New Mexico, the deputy noted the spelling “Kriste” to be the same from the Xbox LIVE account, the affidavit states.
Hass wrote in the affidavit that he contacted the Farmington, New Mexico, Police Department and officers immediately began searching for “Kriste’s Chocolate Factory” and Mike and Kriste Aragon. Hass conducted a search and found a common address for Mike and Kriste Aragon and passed the information to officers in Farmington, New Mexico, the affidavit states.
A historical phone ping was requested on the 505-area code number and the information showed the phone location was at the Oklahoma-Texas border on Interstate 40 on April 16, the affidavit states.
Farmington police officers were able to verify through utility records the address given by Hass known to be associated with the Aragons and they placed the residence under surveillance, the affidavit states.
Hass wrote in the affidavit that he then requested and obtained “an exigent real-time ping” on the 505-area code number and received a location update every 15 minutes as the phone traveled between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Farmington, New Mexico.
At approximately 2 a.m. April 17, officers intercepted a vehicle as it entered the driveway of the address that was under surveillance and Hass was notified that the boy was safe and alive, the affidavit states. Hass then notified the father that his son was found safe in Farmington, New Mexico, and put the father in contact with Farmington police, the affidavit states.
Later that day, Hass wrote in the affidavit that he contacted FBI Special Agent Adam Reynolds.
Reynolds met with the boy at the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office and performed a forensic interview, the affidavit states.
The boy told Reynolds that Kriste Aragon invited him to a game in an Xbox LIVE party and that she had asked for his phone number, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the boy told Reynolds that Aragon started to text him and that Kriste asked the boy for explicit photos and she sent him sexually explicit texts.
The boy told the agent that he knew Aragon was 36 and he originally told Aragon that he was 17, according to the affidavit. The boy later told Aragon that he was really 14 and Aragon said that “she already knew how old he was and that she knew his address before he told her,” the affidavit states.
Aragon told the boy that she lived 30 minutes away from him and started to talk to the boy about living arrangements, the affidavit states. The boy said Aragon did not tell him that she lived in New Mexico until after he got into the car with the woman and was told that “he would never be back,” the affidavit states.
The boy told investigators that Aragon didn’t want her car tag to be seen in his neighborhood, so she made him walk to a gas station to meet up with her, the affidavit states.
Aragon brought a friend — identified as Melissa Goelz — and the boy told the agent that he had also played online with Goelz, the affidavit states.
After leaving the gas station, the boy told investigators that he was told to duck down as the vehicle went through a toll booth and the first place they stopped at was a motel in Henryetta where Aragon told the boy to reset his phone, take the SIM card out and toss it out the window after they left the motel, the affidavit alleges.
The boy said that when the vehicle stopped, the women would not leave the boy by himself and would stand outside the door of the restroom and wait for him, the affidavit states.
The boy told the agent that he fell asleep at one point and woke up to Aragon doing sexual things to him and then she stopped, the affidavit states. The boy said that Aragon later leaned her seat back and started again to touch the boy sexually, the affidavit states.
After the boy said that he saw the New Mexico sign, that they stopped in the middle of the road and Goelz got out of the vehicle to use the bathroom and Aragon got in the backseat and performed more sexual acts on the boy, the affidavit states.
The boy told the investigator that he told the women that he wanted to come home, but Aragon told the boy that he “had to either go with them now or that he would be left on the side of the road naked,” the affidavit states. The boy said he was afraid to say anything else about wanting to go home because he didn’t want to be thrown out of the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Aragon told the boy that she “had driven 13 hours to get him so he was not going back,” the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the boy told the agent that when they pulled into the driveway that officers met them at the car and that “he knew what was happening.”
The affidavit states that the FBI is reviewing the case for possible federal charges against Aragon and Goelz.
If convicted, the pair faces punishment by a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to 10 years or both, for the alleged kidnapping. Aragon is also facing imprisonment of three to 20 years for the alleged lewd or indecent proposal to a minor.
James writes for McAlester News Capital, a CNHI News Service publication.