SHIPROCK, N.M. – The man charged with abducting and killing a girl from New Mexico’s Navajo Nation gave investigators a chilling account of her final hours.
Tom Begaye said he saw 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike playing with her younger brother Monday and offered them a ride, according to a criminal complaint.
Ashlynne’s 9-year-old brother told detectives Begaye drove them to a deserted area. Begaye, carrying a tire iron, allegedly took his sister out of the vehicle and walked her away from the car and out of the boy’s sight, according to KOB-TV.
Cops say he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl before hitting her with the tire iron until she stopped moving.
Begaye returned, alone, and drove Mike’s brother a short distance away before telling him to get out of the vehicle, the boy told authorities. A driver found him walking alone around 7:15 p.m.
Hours later, investigators found her body. Detectives linked her death to Begaye after receiving tips from two alleged witnesses, and found him in a sweat lodge outside of Shiprock.
An angry crowd waited for Begaye outside a federal courthouse in Albuquerque, where he was charged with one count of murder and two counts of kidnapping.
He faces a minimum 20 years in prison; the maximum sentence is life behind bars.