A 13-year-old girl was killed Saturday when she tried to get out of a stolen vehicle and ended up being dragged for several miles, KWCH reports.
Kevin Palmer, 34, was arrested and charged with felony murder in the incident, which took place around noon.
Wichita police said the girl, who has not been named, was sitting in the driver’s side back seat of a Ford Escape parked outside a restaurant. The girl’s family went inside to pick up food, leaving the Escape running with the girl inside. Palmer got into the vehicle and took off, police said.
The girl tried to get out, investigators said, but got caught in the seatbelt on the outside of the vehicle. Another driver saw the incident unfolding, called 911, and followed the Escape.
Palmer reportedly stopped the vehicle at an intersection and took off running, but officers quickly caught up with him and made the arrest.
“This is one of the saddest cases I have been associated with in my over 28 years of law enforcement,” Chief Gordon Ramsay said. “WPD sends its thoughts and prayers to family, friends, and others affected by this tragic incident.”
In addition to the murder charge, Palmer faces charges of driving on a suspended, revoked, or canceled license; theft of property; and three counts of failure to comply. He’s being held on $508,500 bond.
Police said detectives are still investigating the case, which will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.
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