Four people from Calhoun and Branch counties were charged Friday with a plan to kidnap, rape and kill a child.
Michigan State Police said they uncovered evidence of the plan to find a child at a local county fair or in a parking lot of a Walmart or Meijer store. The group intended to torture and sexually assault the child until the child was dead and then dispose of the body, according to the Office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Schutte’s office has charged the four with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The suspects are Matthew Toole, 32, of Battle Creek and his girlfriend, Talia Furman, 32, of Springfield, Jayme LaPointe, 19, of Athens and David Bailey, 37, of Coldwater. Bailey is formerly of Kalamazoo.
All four are in custody, said Detective Sgt. Gerald Yott of the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit.
The new charges stem from evidence state police collected from an investigation involving sexual assault and manufacture of pornography by the four suspects.
“They committed acts on their own children and were making sexually abusive material,” Yott said Friday afternoon. “They were all sharing and exploiting their own children and other children.”
Toole and Furman are awaiting preliminary examinations in Calhoun County District Court on child abuse and sexual assault as part of the original investigation. LaPointe is being held in Branch County on similar charges.
Bailey was arrested Friday, Yott said, and will be returned to Branch County.
Yott said as investigators collected evidence they found the four were discussing with text messages and chats a plan to rape and kill a child after a kidnapping from a county fair, store parking lot or parade.
Yott said they discussed how to kidnap a child where there were no cameras and how to dispose of the body and destroy evidence.
“It was something they had chatted about and they had met in person to formulate their plan,” Yott said.
“To our knowledge they did not execute their plan and there were no child victims,” he said.
The conversations began in the fall of 2017 and continued to the summer of 2018, he said.
He said the group met locally through loose associations and similar sexual proclivities in including three-way relationships.
The newest charges all carry maximum prison sentences of life in prison.
Contact Trace Christenson at 269-966-0685 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @TSChristenson
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