In a recent operation by Arkansas authorities, Jon Thompson, a 40-year-old Tontitown resident, was arrested following the discovery of a five-year-old girl concealed within a compartment in his home. The arrest was made after police, captured on bodycam footage, located the child in a secret space behind a closet on Thursday.
The video showed Thompson, clad in overalls and a hat, directing officers to the closet area. The officers moved items to unveil a hidden entrance, from which the young girl emerged and was subsequently taken into the care of the Department of Human Services.
Detective Keith Lindley of the Tontitown Police described the child as emotional and indicated that Thompson had instructed her to remain silent. Fortunately, she was unharmed.
Facing multiple charges, including interference with custody, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a minor, and possession of both body armor and drug paraphernalia, Thompson’s booking was confirmed by The Washington County Jail Intake.
The incident unfolded as Tontitown police were aiding DHS officials in taking custody of the child. Thompson initially misled authorities by denying the child’s presence and claiming judicial custody.
Upon admission that the girl was indeed in the house, Thompson guided law enforcement to her location. They found her concealed behind a nailed-in board within the wall, equipped with open insulation, as documented in released photographs.
At the time of this incident, Thompson was out on bond on separate charges from Benton County related to methamphetamine possession, as mentioned by Detective Lindley.
Thompson was detained at the Washington County Jail and posted a $5,000 bond for release on Monday. His forthcoming court appearance is slated for December 4.