Missing teen, suspected kidnapper located in South Dakota


Christopher Johnson

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KADOKA, S.D. – A missing Edmundson teenager has been found safe and the 26-year-old man accused of kidnapping her is in custody.

The Edmundson Police Department reached out to the FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children earlier this week.

Police said 16-year-old Gabrielle Yonko and Christopher Johnson were last seen on Monday, September 23, at the home of Gabrielle’s uncle in the 9800 block Treadway Lane.

Authorities said Johnson took the teen in his vehicle and they left just before 10:45 p.m. without permission.

Johnson has a long criminal history, including escaping from custody and is known to be physically violent, authorities said.

Police tracked their location to northern Illinois, just east of Chicago.

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, members of the South Dakota Highway Patrol observed Johnson’s vehicle and began a pursuit of the vehicle. Local sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit and deployed spike strips across the highway to stop Johnson but those efforts failed.

State police and deputies pulled back as the pursuit reached dangerously high speeds and lost sight of Johnson’s car.

A short time later, the vehicle was found wrecked and unoccupied in the small town of Kadoka, South Dakota. Law enforcement deployed a police helicopter and K9 units to aid in a search of the area.

Police located Johnson and Yonko together around 4:30 p.m. Johnson was arrested and Yonko was taken into protective custody.

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