A 56-year-old central Alberta man is accused of pretending to be a police officer and then kidnapping and sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Gerard John Baumgarte of Red Deer was charged Monday with impersonating a peace officer, kidnapping with a firearm, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and uttering a threat, said the RCMP.
The victim, 16, vanished from the town of Penhold, about 120 kilometres north of Calgary, on Thursday evening. She was last seen at a convenience store buying juice for her sore throat.
Her family found her truck parked in front of their home with the keys inside and the lights on. Her purse and the items she bought at the store were in the truck, but her wallet and cellphone were gone.
Investigators believe the girl willingly went with the man because he was dressed like a police officer and had flashing blue and red lights in his vehicle similar to those used by police, Sgt. Patrick Webb said Monday.
The girl managed to escape her captor and phone her parents from a Red Deer mall Saturday afternoon, 46 hours after she went missing, said police.
The teenager's photo was released shortly after she went missing, but her name and identity are now protected under law.
The RCMP is asking members of the public to report whether they have run into a circumstance involving someone impersonating a peace officer.
Baumgarte, who has no criminal history, remains in custody, said Webb.