Leavenworth father arrested with missing girls after 2 boys found dead

Donny Jackson, 40, was arrested Saturday in Oklahoma following an AMBER alert after his two daughters, age 7 and 3, were discovered missing and their two older brothers were found dead in their Leavenworth, Kan., family home. Photo courtesy of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Oct. 26 (UPI) — The father of two girls missing from Leavenworth, Kan., was arrested in Oklahoma and the girls were found safe, after police found their two brothers dead in their home.

Deputies from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on Saturday stopped Donny Jackson, 40, near Erick, Okla., about 500 miles west of Leavenworth.

Jackson’s daughters, ages 3 and 7, had been the subject of an AMBER alert from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation after police found the bodies of slain brothers 14-year-old Logan Jackson and 11-year-old Austin Jackson in the family home.

Donny Jackson had been in divorce proceedings with the children’s mother, the Kansas City Star reported Sunday.

When one of the children did not show up for a soccer game Saturday, family members went to the home and found the boys and noticed the girls were missing, police said. Leavenworth police believed the girls had been abducted by their father, they said Saturday.

After a multi-state AMBER alert Saturday evening, Jackson’s car was reported at a gas station in Oklahoma about five miles from the Texas border, according to an Oklahoma State Patrol Facebook post. A truck driver then reported seeing Jackson’s car heading westward on I-40, and patrol deputies were able to stop the car.

A GoFundMe site posted by a family friend identified the mother of the children as Tara Jackson.

“Tara is now faced with the overwhelming task of paying for a funeral for her two sons,” organizer Marisa Clausen wrote. “She will also face many other unknowns in the future. [Her daughters] were reunited with Tara after a multi-state AMBER alert, [and] will undoubtedly need help to get through this tragic event as well.”

Leavenworth County Undersheriff Jim Sherley said police “had dealings” with Jackson before.

“In a case like this, of course it’s difficult for an entire family, for a community, and for law enforcement as well. Anytime a child is involved in a crime, it amps up the feelings,” Sherley told the Star. “All of our deputies are family members or parents themselves, so when something like this transpires, it’s difficult on the first responders, the family and the community at large.”

Donny Jackson was being held in the Beckham County, Okla., jail until extradition arrangements could be made to bring him to Kansas, authorities said.


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