With assistance from the Topeka Police Department and an FBI special agent, Cortez Police Department on Thursday night arrested a Kansas man on charges of harboring a minor and second-degree kidnapping at the Days Inn by Wyndham Cortez on Main Street.
According to a felony investigation hold affidavit filed Friday by a Cortez police officer, about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, three police officers found Michael Fitzgerald, 47, in a hotel room with a 14-year-old girl who possibly ran away from home in Topeka. Fitzgerald was arrested and is in custody at Montezuma County Detention Center.
Montezuma County Judge JenniLynn Lawrence on Friday afternoon set Fitzgerald’s bond at $30,000 and required GPS monitoring as a bond condition. On Saturday morning, a sergeant at Montezuma County Detention Center confirmed that Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas is seeking a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and has placed a no-bond hold on Fitzgerald.
A Topeka Police Department press release stated the young girl was last seen in Topeka at 11 p.m. Tuesday. Officers in Topeka followed her footprints in the snow from her house to the street, where police believe she might have entered a vehicle.
As police detained Fitzgerald late Thursday, the young girl was evaluated at Southwest Memorial Hospital and placed in custody of Montezuma County Social Services. Social workers have made arrangements to return the girl to Kansas.
The Cortez affidavit states Topeka Police Detective Scott Dickey located Fitzgerald’s black Dodge pickup using Mopar vehicle tracking and informed Cortez police of Fitzgerald’s location. The affidavit states Dickey on Friday was working on securing a federal hold for Fitzgerald. Montezuma County Detention Center told The Journal on Saturday that there is currently no federal hold.
When the three Cortez police officers knocked on the hotel room door, Fitzgerald opened the door wearing underwear and a T-shirt. Some details in the affidavit have been redacted, but in court on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Margeson said the girl was wearing just her underwear when police arrived.
Officers reported in the affidavit that both beds in the hotel room appeared to have been slept in. Outside the hotel room, the girl told officers that she was not taken against her will and that they did not have sexual intercourse.
About 3 a.m., an FBI special agent contacted the investigating Cortez police officer and requested that officers secure Fitzgerald’s pickup and the hotel room and that the FBI agent would obtain a search warrant.
Police lines were placed across the door early Friday morning and have since been removed.
A public defender in court on Friday stated Fitzgerald is employed in Topeka as an IT director. She argued for a much lower bond than the $50,000 requested by prosecutors, because Fitzgerald did not have a criminal history.
Lawrence explained that a bond is meant to protect the community. Because Fitzgerald committed crimes across state lines and has no ties to Cortez, she set bond at $30,000. She said GPS monitoring would help mitigate concerns that he might flee.
When the judge asked Fitzgerald if he intended to post bond, he said he had just been informed that authorities in Kansas had secured a no-bond hold.