Wade Stene, 37, who may have lived in Vernon and Kelowna, is facing multiple charges in connection to the March 10 abduction and sexual assault of an eight-year-old girl in Edmonton. Police released three photos of the suspect. (Edmonton Police Service photo)

Edmonton child abduction suspect may have lived in Okanagan

Police believe 37-year-old man lived in Vernon and Kelowna along with a couple of Alberta towns

Edmonton Police Service has charged a 37-year-old man who may have once lived in the Okanagan in relation to a reported child abduction and sexual assault that took place in west Edmonton earlier in March.

On Tuesday, March 10, an eight-year-old female was walking home from a residence at approximately 5:30 p.m. when she was approached by a vehicle. The male driver pulled her into the vehicle, sexually assaulted her and dropped her off nearby.

The girl immediately reported the incident to her parents, who were looking for her at the time. They subsequently contacted police. EMS also attended and transported the child to hospital where she was treated and then released.

Detectives do not believe the suspect and the child were known to one another.

On Wednesday, March 12, the EPS issued a media release seeking the public’s assistance identifying a suspect in a reported child abduction and sexual assault.

READ MORE: Surrey man arrested after woman screams for help in Kelowna

The request for assistance was successful, leading to the arrest of Wade Stene, who was taken into custody without incident at his residence in Edmonton on Saturday, March 21.

Stene has since been remanded and is now facing several charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault with a weapon, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering threats, making child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Stene reportedly lived and worked in multiple locations in Alberta and British Columbia including Vernon, Kelowna, Drayton Valley and Fort McMurray. As a result, detectives are concerned there may be additional complainants in other jurisdictions. Police are releasing photos of Stene and are encouraging any additional complainants to come forward to their local police.

Stene is described as Caucasian, six-foot-two and weighing approximately 150 pounds. He has short brown hair and hazel eyes. Stene may alternate between having facial hair and remaining clean-shaven.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Stene is encouraged to contact their local police.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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