Federal grand jury indicts suspect in Navajo girl’s slaying

A federal grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against a man accused of killing an 11-year-old Navajo girl who was abducted as she and her younger brother played on the way home from school.

Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that the indictment charges Tom Begaye Jr. with murder, aggravated sexual abuse, kidnapping resulting in death and kidnapping of a minor.

The 27-year-old Navajo man has been in federal custody since his arrest May 4. An arraignment is scheduled June 7.

Authorities say Begaye lured Ashlynne Mike and her younger brother into his van after school May 2. The boy later was freed, and dozens of people began searching for the girl.

Ashlynne’s body was found the next day on the edge of the nation’s largest American Indian reservation.

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