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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Missouri Fugitive Arrested in Guatemala, Returned to United States

Indicted for Kidnapping Murder Victim’s Daughter

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Noel, Missouri, man has been arrested in the Republic of Guatemala and returned to the United States to face a federal indictment for kidnapping the 4-year-old daughter of a woman whose body was discovered in a suitcase last year.

Mahamud Tooxoow Mahamed, 39, a Somali national, was charged in an indictment returned on Aug. 20, 2019. The indictment alleges that Mahamed kidnapped a minor victim (identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1) and transported her from Missouri to Iowa.

Mahamed, who has been a fugitive from justice since the indictment, was recently arrested in Guatemala, expelled from that country, and returned to the United States. His initial court appearance was held today in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. He remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Aug. 2, 2021.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original federal criminal complaint, the body of Jessica McCormack, of Noel, was discovered on July 29, 2019, near Missouri Highway 59 between Lanagan, Mo., and Noel. The last time McCormack was seen alive, the affidavit says, was when law enforcement officers responded to a call at her home on July 16, 2019. Also present in the residence were Mahamed, who was identified as McCormack’s paramour, and McCormack’s three daughters, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1 (four years old), Jane Doe 2 (two years old), and Jane Doe 3 (six months old).

McCormack’s children could not be located after her body was discovered and identified. An Amber Alert was issued for McCormack’s three children, who were located at a residence in Des Moines, Iowa, and taken into state custody on Aug. 8, 2019. According to the affidavit, a woman who formerly worked with Mahamed at the Tyson plant in Noel told law enforcement officers that Mahamed arrived at her Des Moines residence with the children on Aug. 5, 2019. She discovered he had left on Aug. 8, 2019, the affidavit says, when she found a note from Mahamed informing her that he could not care for the children.

Investigators confirmed with the father of McCormack’s oldest child that Mahamed did not have his consent to take Jane Doe 1 outside the state of Missouri.

The charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the McDonald County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Des Moines, Iowa, Police Department.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated July 28, 2021