CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-Team spoke exclusively to the father of a man just charged in two child kidnapping cases that sent fear through northeast Ohio. Jimmy Christian said he never saw that side of his son, but he had suspicions after seeing video released by investigators.
Justin Christian has been indicted for kidnapping and raping a 6-year-old Cleveland girl and trying to kidnap an Elyria girl.
His dad told the I-Team, he can’t understand how his son could get wrapped up in this, but he also understands the pain of the families of the victims. Jimmy Christian said, “I talked to him. I don’t know what happened. This is devastating to our family.” He also added, “These are somebody’s children. He went to somebody’s house. It’s crazy.”
The suspect’s father also said he had questions for his son after first seeing security video police put out as they tried to identify a suspect. He said, “I did say something. I said, ‘Justin, that looks like you.’ But then I thought, that’s not in my son’s character, and whatever he said about it. And then that conversation never happened again.”
The father also noticed pictures of the suspect’s car, and he noticed it looked similar to a car given to Justin after his brother died of a heroin overdose.
The arrest came after traffic stop in Elyria. Elyria police had been watching Justin Christian. The I-Team spoke to the father of the little girl almost kidnapped. He said the arrest is finally giving him some relief. He just had his first good night’s sleep in forever.
The I-Team also reviewed court records. We found no sex offense convictions for Justin Christian. Instead, cases for marijuana and even having brass knuckles as a concealed weapon. Investigators used a new DNA technique involving family members to gather evidence against Christian. We met his brother and friends going to visit him in jail.
JJ Christian reacted to the new DNA technique saying, “Either way. How do you know this is accurate? … It’s not my brother.”
The I-Team has learned investigators believe Justin Christian also may have been communicating online with someone at one of the homes of the victims.
In the end, Christian’s father is torn between defending his son and feeling compassion for the victims. He said, “We’re all shocked.” He added, “Somebody took my daughter, I’d be upset. Not only upset, but devastated.”