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Suspect in Lafayette kidnapping, molest seeks venue change

Police said they found a missing child in James Chadwell Jr.'s basement in April.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A man accused of kidnapping and molesting of a 9-year-old girl wants to move his upcoming trial.

Police said they found the child in James Chadwell Jr.'s basement in April.

Her discovery isn't far from the high profile and unsolved murders of two girls in Delphi in 2017. Some media reports have indicated a possible link between the incidents. For that reason, Chadwell's attorney says his client can't get a fair trial and he wants a judge to move it.

No decision has been made.

According to court documents, the girl had gone into Chadwell's home April 19 to pet his dogs. That's when he allegedly attacked and strangled her. The court documents said he then forced the girl into the basement where he assaulted her. The girl told officers that Chadwell had made threats to kill her if she screamed or told anyone what had happened.

RELATED: Court docs: He'd 'kill her if she screamed' | Man arrested after missing girl rescued from his Lafayette home

The girl's mother reported her missing around 7 p.m. from their home in the 2400 block of Main Street, which is just west of Sagamore Parkway. She said the girl had been missing for about 30 minutes before she called the police. 

Officers went to Chadwell's home in the 700 block of Park Avenue, which is not far from the girl's home.  According to court documents, Chadwell told officers the girl had been at his home earlier, but she had left.

Officers continued to search for the girl and returned to Chadwell's home and asked to search it. Lafayette police said officers found the girl in the basement of the home with bruising on her body and a dog bite on her leg.

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