The stepfather accused of abducting his teenaged stepdaughter from a doctor's office in Dothan had a note from the his wife giving him guardianship over the child.
Court documents filed in federal court said officers in Tennessee found the note, which was handwritten but not notarized, but appears to be signed by Julie Bethke, the girl's mother and Partin's common law wife.
The filing states Partin and the 15-year old girl, identified in the document as A.L., were found inside a car parked at a campground in Hinson, TN. A campground worker called a deputy and told the officer Partin and the girl were observed inside the car participating in sexual acts.
The report claims both Partin and the girl initially claimed she was 18 years old, but later recanted. Partin first told the officer the girl was a "friend of the family" but, under additional questioning, admitted he lied "because of her age and because he (Partin) was scared." DNA samples were reportedly taken from Partin but he was not arrested at the time. Dothan Police say a warrant charging sexual abuse has now been issued in Tennessee against Partin.
The girl was turned over to Child Protective Services in Tennessee and later to the Alabama Department of Human Resources. A Barbour County, Alabama district judge ordered the girl held by DHR until allegations of sexual abuse could be investigated. The federal document claims there is unsubstantiated information that Partin claimed he is the father of A.L.'s baby. The teen is believed to be about five months pregnant.
A.L . was taken by a DHR worker to a doctor's appointment on September 17. Partin and Bethke went inside a an entrance to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center where Bethke points to an elevator. Partin, according to the FBI, took the elevator to the 4th floor waiting room where he walks in and grabs A.L. by the arm. He and the girl then travel down the stairway and leaves the building with both running toward a van, according to the social worker who said she observed them through a window in the doctor's office.
DothanFirst.com has learned the Nissan van was left in a nearby parking lot shortly after the alleged kidnapping though reported recovered by police until three days later. A source familiar with the case said investigators watched the van in hopes Bethke and/or Partin would return to it. They did not. Instead, they appear to have left Dothan in a stolen vehicle in which they traveled until their arrest Saturday in Cincinnati, Ohio.
FBI agents claim they searched a residence in Mobile County belonging to friends of Partin and Bethke. Inside, they found a 6-step plan of action for abducting A.L. from the doctor's office. Included in the plan was discarding a cell phone, switching vans, finding work, and earning enough for a border crossing.
In addition to the sex charge in Tennessee, Partin faces a federal kidnapping charge and Bethke is accused in Houston County of interfering with child custody.