Mo. Sheriff Fifth All-Star Finalist
Gary Toelke is the fifth weekly All-Star finalist.
Sheriff Gary Toelke of Union, Mo. found himself at the heart of not one, but three, high profile child abduction cases. In September of 2006, Sheriff Toelke led an investigation into the disappearance of a newborn that was violently taken from its mother. Then in early January, Toelke's office along with the FBI, was called in to investigate the possible abduction of a 13-year-old. In both cases, Toelke was credited with results oriented actions such as using the media extensively to help solve these crimes.
In both cases, Toelke's efforts paid off; leading to the safe recovery of the abducted newborn, the 13-year-old and another child police say had been missing for over two years. The grateful community of Union is elated that Toelke is the fifth weekly finalist in the AMW Sprint Nextel All-Star Awards.
Toelke is no stranger to child abduction cases and in January, his department was instrumental in the recovery of 13-year-old Ben Ownby and 15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck.
Little Abby Woods Snatched From Mothers Arms
Less than two weeks old, little Abby Lynn Woods was literally snatched from her mother's arms by an assailant who slashed the throat of the 21-year-old new mom. Stephanie Ochsenbine who managed to survive her injuries, was in her own home when this brutal attack occurred. Sheriff Toelke and his department moved into action releasing a photo of baby Abby with a distinct birth mark on her forehead. He made sure local and national media broadcast the abducted baby's picture frequently.
As a result, a relative of Shannon Beck, the alleged assailant, became suspicious when she noticed make up covering a birth mark on a baby's forehead that Beck claimed she found. The relative called police and baby Abby was recovered. Toelke was with the baby's family when she was found and said they were delighted when he told them. It was quite exciting," comments Toelke. "It was outstanding." Beck was charged with kidnapping and held on $1 million bond.
Toelke is no stranger to child abduction cases and in January, his department was instrumental in the recovery of 13-year-old Ben Ownby and 15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck, both abducted by local pizza parlor manager Michael Devlin. Again, Toelke's aggressive use of news media led to this recovery because of the description of a pick up truck circulated to the news, that belonged to the abductor.
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Nominate your favorite first responder. Then, each week for eight weeks, you can vote among the nominees for a weekly All-Star winner. The eight weekly winners will be finalists for the 2007 AMW All-Star vote in May. Our 2007 AMW All-Star will win $10,000 and an All-Star weekend at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series All-Star Challenge.