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Missing St. Peters Teen Found Safe, Back at Home

Molly Linhardt, 16, has been found, and Benjamin Kinkade was taken into custody without incident and later released.

After being missing since Jan. 14, 16-year-old Molly Linhardt is back home.

St. Peters Police said Linhardt was located in Monroe County, Mo., shortly after midnight on Wednesday. Police said the Monroe County Sheriff's Department were contacted by a family member of Benjamin Kinkade, 27. Police believed Linhardt was with Kinkade when she disappeared nine days ago. Kinkade's family member wanted to turn Linhardt and Kinkade.

The Sheriff’s Department responded to the residence and found Linhardt safe with no visible injuries.

Kinkade was taken into custody by the Sherrif's department without incident. He later was released and is no longer in custody.

Linhardt was brought back home by her family. Follow-up investigations are being conducted by Monroe County Sheriff’s Department in regards to Kinkade.

Doss said Linhardt and Kinkade met at the KFC where Kinkade was a manager. Kinkade was fired from the restaurant in December. 

Linhardt  St. Peters Police said that Linhardt was reported missing at around 7 p.m. that night. Earlier that day her father dropped her off for work at Kentucky Fried Chicken, however, he later found out she was not scheduled to work. 

St. Peters Police Media Relations Officer Melissa Doss said Molly skipped school at Francis Howell North on Jan. 14. When her father came to pick her up, he saw her with Kinkade. Her phone was taken away and later that night she was gone.

Police said Linhardt was with 27-year-old Benjamin Kinkade. Doss said Linhardt and Kinkade met at KFC where Kinkade was a manager. Kinkade was fired from the restaurant in December. 

Kinkade is a registered sex offender in Missouri. According to court documents, Kinkade entered a guilty plea on a charge of first degree statutory rape in 2005.

JB January 25, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Ok, so why was Kinkade released when he's a registered sex offender who was with a 16 year old minor? I would think he'd be in jail instead of running around our town?? Makes no sense to me.

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