Missouri man facing kidnapping charges, teens okay


Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

PADUCAH, Ky. - Two teens taken from their Naples, Florida neighborhood Saturday evening were found some 1,000 miles away Sunday night on Hinkleville Road.

The man investigators say took the girls is facing two counts of kidnapping a minor. Ivan Coleman, 22, of Park Hills, Missouri is now in the McCracken County Jail.

Paducah Police Sgt. Steve Smith spotted the white Pontiac described in the Amber Alert and quickly took Coleman into custody.

"It just so happens we got lucky on this one," he said.

The pair, ages 14 and 15, were last seen Saturday afternoon. According to a report filed with the Collier County Sheriff's Office, the 15-year-old knew the suspect. At first, according to her mother, Ivan Coleman said he was 15 and then later changed his story.

The texting relationship continued for a year. The lead investigator in Florida, Detective Scott Peterson, believed the girls were in danger whether they knew Coleman or not.

"It's hard to say what was in the mind of a person who is 22 years old who travels all the way from Missouri to the bottom of Florida to meet with a 14 and 15 year old girl," he said Monday during a phone interview.

Peterson also praised the work of several agencies including officers in Paducah, Kentucky.

"They showed a willingness to jump in and use all their resources," he said, adding, "When you have days like yesterday, there's nothing better."

One of the girls were released to family friends in Tennessee until her parents could make the trip. The other teen has been placed in a group home until her parents can get to her.

Investigators in Florida say more charges are possible against Coleman. He could face federal charges in addition to state charges because he crossed state lines with the girls.