The family of Ashlynne Mike, an 11-year-old Navajo girl who was found dead in New Mexico, is one step closer to getting justice after FBI agents arrested Tom Begaye on charges of her abduction and murder. Begaye allegedly kidnapped both Ashlynne and her 9-year-old brother from their Navajo reservation on Monday afternoon.
Begaye, a 27-year-old from Waterflow, New Mexico was arrested in connection to the killing and appeared before a U.S. District Court judge the day after his arrest. He was described by authorities as a light-skinned Native American man in his 20s to 30s with short, dark her, and a tear drop tattoo under his left eye.
Navajo police captain Ivan Tosie said in a press release that along with the arrest, authorities seized Begaye's maroon-colored van, which is suspected to be the van that Begaye used to abduct the two victims.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said that tribal government needs to create an effective emergency response system in the wake of this horrible crime. Law enforcement has been criticized by many for an apparent delay in an Amber Alert notification after Mike's disappearance.
While Ashlynne's little brother was later found, unharmed, Ashlynne's body was discovered at 11 am on Tuesday morning by members of her own family.
(Begaye is a common name among the Navajo, and the defendant is no relation to the Navajo Nation President.)
(Photos from Left: San Juan County, N.M. Detention Center via AP Photo, New Mexico State Police via AP Photo)