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Police: Shelbiana man arrested after being found with missing Harlan County man

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A Shelbiana man was arrested by Pikeville Police Wednesday after he was found with a man who was reported missing out of Harlan County.

Jordan Cress was reported missing Monday after his guardians told police he went for a jog and did not return home. Since Cress has Asperger’s, officers immediately sent out a golden alert and began their search.

They heard nothing from Cress until he made contact 24 hours after he was reported missing. Since he left his cell phone behind, the call showed officers he was not missing alone, ending the area-wide search as they switched focus.

“When he made that phone call, we immediately knew he was with somebody. And that was a great deal of concern,” said Cumberland Police Department Sergeant Tyler Hensley.

That shift in focus was accompanied by a top that Cress was taken to Pike County. So, Hensley touched base with the Pikeville Police Department for assistance.

Wednesday morning, officers found Cress in a home on Red Creek Road. There, Jonathan Jacob Ford, 22 of Shelbana, was charged with custodial interference when Cress was found in a bathroom where officers say he had been hiding.

“This gentleman left Pike County and went and picked him up and brought him back here, knowing he should’ve done that,” said Pikeville Police Department Public Information Officer Tony Conn.

According to the arrest citation, Ford told officers he knew the boy’s guardians did not know where he was going when he was picked up from Cumberland and brought to the home on Red Creek Road.

“We’re thankful that Jordan is safe and okay, but the reasoning behind taking him is one of the most bizarre reasons I’ve ever heard of,” said Hensley.

Ford, who also told police officers his mother and the Cress’ father are in a relationship, said he “considered him his little brother.”According to the arrest citation, Ford brought Cress to Pike County because “he wanted him to have a job and function and not be dependent on a government check.”

Cumberland PD issued a warrant for kidnapping, which was served to Ford by Pikeville PD since he was already in custody.

Cress’ guardians picked him up at Pikeville PD Wednesday morning. Officers say it was a good ending that could have gone much differently.

“I was here when his grandparents came to pick him up- came to get the gentleman,” said Conn. “And they were... to say they were relieved is an understatement.”

Officers say the multi-agency cooperation was key in getting Cress home with his guardians.

“When you have that kind of effort and you end up with a happy ending result,” said Hensley. “That’s why you do everything that you do. You’re their voice, that’s why they call us. Because that’s what we stand for.”

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