Arrest made in Aurora girl's kidnapping; more info released; police ask for help

John Stanley Snorsky Jr. held on $600K bond

AURORA, Colo. - Aurora police have released a booking photo of the man arrested in the kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl.

Police said John Stanley Snorsky Jr., 26, of Aurora was arrested on Tuesday as part of an investigative parole hold in an unrelated case involving making a false report to a pawn broker.

An arrest warrant on the burglary and kidnapping case was signed Friday evening after police developed information they said implicated Snorsky in the girl's kidnapping.  

During a noon news conference on Saturday, Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates said police obtained a number of tips that led them to Snorsky. He said they received more than 200 tips during the investigation.  A Mercedes belonging to Snorsky was impounded as part of the police investigation, police said.

Division Chief Rob McGregor called the 8-year-old victim who helped police with the suspect's sketch a "very good, brave young lady who kept her wits about her."

Police said Snorsky is a "self-proclaimed artist" and a Facebook page under his name with his date of birth shows drawings that he has made and photographs of him posing.

Snorsky worked at a sub shop at 6th Avenue and Sable Blvd, according to police.

Police ask for anyone who has information about the suspect to call police detectives at 303-739-6113. Police want to know if there are other victims or if Snorsky had activities outside of the metro area. 

Snorsky is being held on a $600,000 bond -- $500,000 on the kidnapping-related charges and $100,000 for the original charge.

Snorsky has previous arrests for theft, burglary, and escape, according to public court records.

Sources told CALL7 for Help Investigator Theresa Marchetta that sexual assault isn't in Snorsky's history and the kidnapping could have been about ransom.

-- The kidnapping --

At about 12:15 a.m. Monday, a man cut the screen off an unlocked window on the side of a house on Hanover Street near East 17th Avenue, police said.

The man reached into the ground-floor window and grabbed the girl, pulling her out through the window, investigators said. But as he was running away with the child she was able to scream for help.

The girl's father heard her, ran out of the home and found his daughter running back from the alley behind the house, police said. The girl was checked out at a hospital and suffered very minor injuries, according to police.

The father told police he saw a newer model silver or grey BMW sedan drive off southbound through the alley and then westbound on East 16th Avenue.

Police were looking for a white man with short blond hair.  He was wearing a heavy black winter jacket and had the distinct odor of cigarette smoke, investigators said.

On Monday night, police released a composite sketch of the man they were looking for after conducting an extensive forensic interview with the victim.

-- Friends say police have wrong man -- 

A longtime friend of Snorsky contacted 7NEWS on Saturday to say he thinks police have the wrong man.

"First of all, he did get into trouble with the law in high school, which is why he was sent to prison. When he was in prison, he became a great artist, which is his calling, his passion. We reconnected when he got out, and had many long conversations about life, his art, his values, morals and goals. I will not be surprised if they end up retracting this discovery and case.

"I know Johnathan, and he isn't bothered by many things. He is the most humble, loving, and caring person I have ever met in my life. He knows he did some bad things as a kid, which in turn led him to serve time in corrections- however there is only one thing...ONE THING that he will not stand for... and that is sex crimes, child abduction, or anything of the sort. I feel as if they were just looking for someone that fit the profile," the friend told us.

Mike Morales is another close friend of the suspect and told 7NEWS he also believes police have the wrong person.

"I don't think he's capable of evil.  He's one of the greatest people I've ever known and has made my life better by just being in it.  They were about to let him off parole...he's so excited for that to have his freedom.  I don't think there's anything he would've done to jeopardize his freedom.  Ever since I met him all he talks about is striving for a better life and making the environment around us better," Morales said.

-- Criminal history --

Court records show Snorsky has a criminal history that started in 2004 when he was charged with burglary.  In 2005 records show he faced a Grand Theft Auto charge in Florida.  Two years later he violated his parole and was sentenced to 2 years in the Department of Corrections for burglary.  A 2007 indecent exposer charge was later dismissed.  In September he was arrested again for theft and making a false report.

-- $20,000 reward offered --

The reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the man who kidnapped the girl was $20,000.

The Shortline Auto group contributed $10,000 Tuesday morning, Aurora police said. CEO of Shortline Auto group Don Hicks told 7NEWS he saw the story on the news and had to do something.

"For him to terrorize my granddaughter or my daughter like that, I don't know what I'd do," Hicks said. "But I do know I had to help, and I have the ability to help, so here we are."

Of the original $10,000 reward offered on Monday, $2,000 came from Crime Stoppers,  $3,000 from the Aurora Police Department, and $5,000 from the SungateKids Child Advocacy Center. 

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