Investigation Leads to Kidnapping Arrests


On February 27, 2016, the Ottumwa Police Department was contacted by a victim who reported that she had been held against her will for several days.  The victim reported that she was repeatedly assaulted during the time frame she was held captive.

The Ottumwa Police Department initiated an investigation that has led to the following charges and arrests:

OPD Press release 2, 7-21
On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, police charged Constance Nicole Griffiths age 27, of 114 N. Moore with Kidnapping 2nd Degree/Aiding and Abetting, a Class “B” Felony.  Griffiths was also charged with outstanding arrest warrants for Probation Violation, Failure to Appear in Court for Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Unlawful Possession of a Prescription Drug.  Griffiths remains in the custody of the Wapello County Jail with a $38,000 cash only bond.
OPD Press release 7-21
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, police charged Joel Enrique Herrarte Jr, age 23, with Kidnapping 2nd Degree, a Class “B” Felony and Willful Injury, a Class “D” Felony.  Herrarte was previously arrested for charges of Parole Violation on May 21, 2016.  Herrarte remains in the custody of the Wapello County Jail with no bond.

A third suspect is also facing charges relating to the Kidnapping investigation and those charges are pending.

Please note the following pursuant to recent Supreme Court rulings:   “A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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