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MOTHER NOTES FRUSTRATION AS KIDNAP CASE NEARS DISMISSAL

SHARE MOTHER NOTES FRUSTRATION AS KIDNAP CASE NEARS DISMISSAL

A Deweyville mother who watched her daughter testify twice in trials of men charged in her 1987 kidnapping and sexual abuse says she shares the frustration of Box Elder County prosecutors who have filed a motion to dismiss charges.

"I just think they have done an excellent job," she said Wednesday, the day after Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson filed a motion to dismiss charges against Thomas C. Headley of Snowville. "We couldn't have had anybody do any better. They have been really good with her."What can you do?" she said. "It's just frustrating to have gone through two trials and to not really have accomplished anything."

Bunderson filed the motion Tuesday to dismiss charges of child kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse of a child and aggravated kidnapping against the 32-year-old Headley. A secretary for 1st District Judge Gordon Low said the order was en route from Brigham City to Logan, where Low was expected to sign the order by week's end.

Bunderson said he took the action after discussing the case with the parents of the victim, a 9-year-old Deweyville girl who was abducted from a Garland schoolyard on March 24, 1987, sexually abused and abandoned the next day in Malta, Idaho.

"I think this was a mutual decision we all reached," Bunderson said, adding that an evaluation of evidence in the 2-year-old case also created "a question of results."

Headley was the second defendant tried in the case. Frank Harvey, 47, of Elma, Wash., was convicted of the same crimes in August 1987 but was released from prison four months later after authorities said they had found new evidence implicating Headley.

A mistrial was declared in Headley's trial May 19 after the eight-member jury became deadlocked and said it could not reach a decision because of a "lack of facts."

"I don't see that another jury would do anything differently, to tell the truth," said Bunderson.

Prosecutors also did not want to subject the girl to a third appearance on the witness stand, and her mother agreed.

"It was just partly her reliving it," she said. "Every time she goes on the stand she just has to tell it over again."

The mother said her daughter apparently is unaware of the legal maneuvering surrounding the case.

"Right now, I don't think she's even aware of where he is," she said. "I think she's done real well. As far as I know she thinks he's in prison."