Man accused of kidnapping Van Zandt County girl for ransom now in Gregg County Jail

Man accused of kidnapping Van Zandt County girl for ransom now in Gregg County Jail
Austen Walker (Source: Gregg County Jail)

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A Van Zandt County man who is accused of kidnapping a girl to collect a ransom is now in the Gregg County Jail.

Austen Walker, 22, of Fruitvale was booked into the Gregg County Jail on Wednesday under a federal marshal detainer.

Federal documents from May had stated Walker would be transported to the East District of Texas to face a federal charge. Any kind of probable cause statement against Walker is not yet public record.

Walker is accused of conspiring with three others to kidnap the girl, which set off a national Amber Alert.

According to arrest affidavits, Walker and Courtney Odum lured the girl from her home after the girl indicated she had access to the family safe.

According to an affidavit, the girl’s mother contacted the sheriff’s office on May 12 and said her intellectually disabled daughter was missing. The mother said she last saw her daughter on May 11 and her daughter had packed clothing and taken $2,000 from the mother’s safe.

The investigating deputy talked to a friend of the missing girl, who said the girl told her Walker was going to come and pick her up so they could go to Louisiana and California.

Walker was later arrested in Kentucky.

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