John Thompson faces charges of child endangerment
Police in Arkansas have released bodycam footage allegedly showing a 5-year-old girl being rescued from deep inside a 40-year-old man's walk-in closet, according to reports.
The child, who authorities in Tontitown, Ark., have not named, was allegedly in a secret “small space” covered by a board that was nailed to a wall in the home of the suspect, John Thompson, USA Today reports, citing Thompson's arrest report.
Thompson allegedly initially said that the child was not with him when police arrived at his door to assist Arkansas Department of Human Services authorities to retrieve her, police said, according to 5 News.
Police said officers were eventually let in and heard banging noise during their time at the location, according to KARK and 5 News.
After allowing them in, Thompson "got down on his knees” inside the closet, then moved around some boxes and pulled apart a board nailed to the wall to let the girl out from the space, the arrest report alleges.
Bodycam footage released by the police shows officers in the fully-packed walk-in closet and a man in a baseball cap and overalls on the floor rummaging through the clothes.
He is heard saying “baby” as he does so, and a dog is heard barking in the background.
Soon, the man brings out a child whose face is blurred in the video.
Police at the scene are heard greeting the child, with two officers saying, “Hey sweetie!”
"She was very emotional when she came out and pretty scared," Detective Keith Lindley told USA Today. "He had instructed her not to make a sound or reveal she was back there."
Thompson faces charges of false imprisonment, child endangerment and interfering with child custody, according to KARK.
He was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on Friday and released on $5,000 bond two days later, according to KARK. He has pleaded guilty, USA Today reported.
It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.
Tontitown authorities did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comments when contacted on Wednesday.
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