Missing Georgia girl found in Phoenix - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Missing Georgia girl found in Phoenix

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Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2009 1:58 pm | Updated: 1:44 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

An 8-year-old Georgia girl who was believed to have been sexually molested and kidnapped by her mother's husband has been found in Arizona.

Maricopa County sheriff's spokesman Doug Matteson said Saturday that the girl was found in Youngtown about 15 miles northwest of Phoenix on Friday night with her head shaved, possibly to hide her identity.

He said after receiving a tip late Friday, deputies surrounded a Youngtown home, broke down the door, and found the girl inside with her 1-year-old brother and mother, 26-year-old Casey Petty.

The man suspected of molesting and kidnapping her, Jerry Lee Fagen, 30, was not found. He is Petty's husband, and Matteson said he may be on his way back to Georgia. The sheriff's office has notified other agencies between the two states to be on the lookout for Fagen.

Matteson said one of Petty's relatives owns the Youngtown home, and that Petty told deputies she'd been living there for a couple of weeks.

Fagen is wanted by the Paulding County Sheriff's Office on suspicion of child molestation and sexual battery, according to Cpl. Brandon Gurley, a spokesman for the Georgia agency.

Paulding County investigators received a tip earlier this month that Fagen was in Phoenix, and was on the run with his wife and the two children.

The children are now in the care of Arizona Child Protective Services, which will coordinate with Georgia authorities about what will happen to them.

Georgia authorities received reports in April from the Department of Family and Children Services stating that Fagen engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with the girl, who was last seen at school on April 28. A family member withdrew her from the school two days later.

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