Tennessee man, 35 year old Jacob “Jake” Clare, has been arrested in California after kidnapping his 3 year old son and 16 year old niece, as well as sexually assaulting the latter. The son was reported missing, triggering an Amber alert, on November 7th, and Clare was identified by an onlooker who recognized him from surveillance images posted on social media.
Clare drove across the country with both of the children, and both of the kids are now safe and back home with their families. He was arrested on Thursday in Dana Point, California, according to AP News. The arrest comes after weeks of multi-state manhunting, but Clare is reported to have gone into custody peacefully. Clare is presently being held without bail in Santa Ana, California’s Intake Release Center, awaiting extradition to Tennessee.
The boy, Noah, was reported missing when he wasn’t returned to his Gallatin home after a scheduled visitation with his father. The teen girl, Amber, was reported missing just a few days later in Ohio County, Kentucky. According to authorities and prosecutors, it looks like she went with Clare willingly.
Jacob Clare is facing multiple felony charges, including kidnapping, incest, and unlawful intercourse with a minor. This is according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He also faces additional charges in Tennessee and Kentucky. On Monday, it was unknown if Clare had an attorney.
News Channel 5 reports that Clare is facing a maximum sentence of 14 years and 4 months for his charges in California, and his kidnapping charges in both Kentucky and Tennessee will be added to the sentence.
Reportedly, Jacob Clare didn’t work alone. He gained his silver Subaru Outback, purchased a week before kidnapping his son and later found abandoned on November 13th, with the help of 37 year old Marissa Henson. Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley confirms that Henson is being charged with criminal responsibility for facilitating a felony in Tennessee.
The two met in October at Opry Mills, where Clare told Henson he’d be running off with a young family member and his 3 year old son, claiming the latter would be to keep the mother from seeing her child. Apparently, Henson told Clare that all the borders were closed and he’d need to leave by the Mexican or Canadian borders, in which case Clare asked for help finding a car.
Henson’s been accused of helping Clare by driving him to Smyrna to buy the car. They also reportedly went to her home, where Clare filled the car with clothing and camping gear, removed the bumper stickers, and tinted the windows. Upon interview, Henson admits to her involvement, and she will be prosecuted in Sumner County. There are still ongoing investigations to determine if any others were involved in helping Clare.
Investigators and law enforcement seem determined. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer says, “No parent should have to suffer the trauma of not knowing where their child is and when or if they are ever coming home… The blatant exploitation of these children and the pain and misery the actions of a single individual has caused is unconscionable. These are innocent children and the selfish and depraved acts of this individual ripped a little boy out of the arms of his mother and stole the innocence of a little girl. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything it can to prevent this monster from hurting any more children.”