Missing Medora girl found in Alabama


An off-duty Seymour police officer in the right place at the right time led to a missing Medora girl being found safe.

Early Sept. 4, April Willis reported that her 16-year-old daughter, Acasia Willis, was missing. Police around the county and nation were notified and began searching for her.

About 11:20 a.m. Thursday, Sgt. Ernie Davidson with the Seymour Police Department and his family were fueling up their vehicle just off Interstate 65 in Priceville, Alabama, their usual stopping point for vacation. A truck pulled up, and Davidson’s wife, Janet, noticed it had a Jackson County license plate.

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Davidson said a girl and a man, later identified as Acasia Willis and her father, Timothy Goosetree, 35, got out of the truck. Davidson said he became suspicious because the truck had a handicap license plate and neither the man nor the girl was handicapped.

“The girl gets out and looks at me and my wife, and (the man) gets out,” Davidson said. “It just seemed odd.”

Davidson had his brother call the Seymour Police Department to have someone look up the license plate, and it was determined to be a 2005 Chevrolet truck that had been reported stolen at noon Wednesday from the 2400 block of South Main Street in Vallonia.

The Priceville police chief arrived at the scene and was waiting for backup. The man was about to get in the truck, so the chief ordered him to the ground and placed him under arrest with the help of Davidson.

Both Goosetree and his daughter were cooperative, Davidson said.

“It was an adventure,” Davidson said. “The good thing was that (Acasia) definitely looked healthy and safe.”

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department had been working on this case along with the report of another missing girl from the county. Kayley Weddle, 14, of Brownstown, was reported missing Sept. 3 by her mother, Melissa Schepman. She has yet to be located.

Lt. Detective Darin Downs said the sheriff’s department, all local police departments and others around the country had been notified of both missing girls.

“When we have a runaway, we notify every agency,” Downs said.

During the investigation, police learned Acasia had found out who her father was and contacted him on Facebook.

Downs said it was reported someone picked up Goosetree and his daughter somewhere in the county Wednesday and took them to Vallonia. The individual didn’t know either of them or that the girl had been reported missing, Downs said.

Once the truck was reported stolen from Vallonia, Downs said, the sheriff’s department spent several hours trying to find it.

Then on Thursday morning, a Seymour detective called the sheriff’s department about the truck being found in Alabama and Goosetree and Willis being taken into custody by Alabama authorities.

“If it would have been five minutes before or five minutes after, it would have been too early or too late,” Downs said of Davidson being at that location at the right time.

“We got lucky,” he said. “We’re just glad that it’s over. We’re so thankful she’s safe. We’ve been, for several days constant, just me and the other detectives in the woods and creeks and campsites looking for them. Every lead we’d get, we’d check. We received hundreds of leads.”

Downs said Goosetree was released from prison within the past year and had a parole warrant out of Kentucky.

Goosetree has family in Kentucky and Louisiana, and Downs said he suspected Goosetree was headed to Louisiana.

Along with the parole warrant, Goosetree faces local charges of auto theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Downs said Alabama authorities also may file charges against him.

Acasia Willis faces two local charges — a misdemeanor charge of runaway and a Level 6 felony of auto theft.

“Once we get her back here and do further investigation, there could be possible further charges pending on the dad,” Downs said.

He said the sheriff’s department continues to follow up on leads in the Kayley Weddle case.

The girl had moved to Brownstown before school started in August to live with her sister’s father and stepmother, Schepman said. She is a freshman at Brownstown Central High School.

Schepman said surveillance video at the school shows Kayley getting off of the bus at the school in the morning and walking out of the building and off campus grounds. She never went to her first class, Schepman said.

Schepman, who lives in Seymour, said Kayley is believed to be with 24-year-old Kody Holland. The two had dated in the past, Schepman said.

She said the pair have not been seen since items were stolen from the home in Brownstown.

“My daughter is very impressionable,” Schepman said. “I’m told she won’t bother to run until she is literally scared to death. I think she’s going to do whatever (Holland) tells her to do.”

Kayley weighs around 100 pounds and has blond hair with pink highlights. Holland is skinny and tall, has brown hair and has piercings on both sides of his bottom lip and eye, according to a post on the “Bring Kayley Weddle Home” Facebook page.

“We just want her home,” Schepman said.

If anyone has information on their whereabouts, they should contact the sheriff’s department at 812-358-2141 or call 911.

“Any tips would help,” Downs said.

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If you have information on the whereabouts of Kayley Weddle or Kody Holland, call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 812-358-2141 or dial 911.


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