SPOKANE, Wash. - An Airway Heights man has been arrested after police say he kidnapped a 2-year-old boy from Spokane early Wednesday morning.
Richard Welch was arrested on a charge of first-degree kidnapping and third-degree rape of a child.
According to authorities, Welch admitted to detectives that he had been at State Line Showgirls earlier in the evening and then went to the VA Medical Center emergency room at 3 a.m. because he claimed he was having problems with migraines.
Welch told detectives he stopped at a gas station at the corner of Wellesley and Monroe to fill up his truck and said he saw a child at a nearby intersection, which he described as a seven-year-old girl. He claimed that the girl needed help finding her parents and he was going to help her find her parents by offering her a ride in his truck, police said.
Instead of taking the child to find her parents he drove the child back to his apartment at the All Season Motel in Airway Heights, 11 miles away from where he first spotted the child, police said.
Meanwhile, the parents of the boy reported him missing from their home shortly after 5 a.m. They said they do not know Welch and would not have given him permission to take their child anywhere.
Police said Welch told detectives he spoke with the child, asking if they had been touched inappropriately by their parents, and the child said they were touched by both "down there."
He said that he saw marks on the child but, when asked why he never called police, and why he took the child to his apartment instead, police said Welch told detectives, "That's what I wanted to do."
He said the child was at his apartment for about five minutes, during which time he claims he gave the child some milk, and then took the child to a Zip Trip convenience store, where he turned the child over to a convenience store clerk.
Police said during his interview with detectives, Welch was told the child was not a 7-year-old girl but was a 2-year-old boy, to which Welch replied, "That's sick."
Detectives said Welch intended to assault the child due to his decision to take the boy to his residence, the discovery of personal lubrication in his apartment by police, and the fact that he claimed he saw marks on the child yet the boy was wearing a pajama suit that would have needed to be opened to observe marks on the child's body.
Welch has been suspected in more than 40 separate instances of stalking, child luring, trespassing, harassing employees in businesses, displaying pornography publicly, displaying female underwear publicly, impersonating a police officer, assault, indecent exposure and lewd conduct. The Spokane Police Department has received several reports recently involving Welch directing his attention toward young women on the street.