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High speed chase leads to recovery of abducted Missouri boy in NM

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By The Staff

PREWITT, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico police early Monday found an abducted 5-year-old Missouri boy safe in the back seat of a car after officers were fired on during a highway chase that at times exceeded 100 mph on Interstate 40.

State police Lt. Eric Garcia identified the boy as 5-year-old Devon Denman. Missouri authorities had been looking for him since Saturday, when his father reported the child's mother took the boy at gunpoint.

Devon's father told authorities he and Devon were held at their home in Lake Ozark before the boy's mother and her boyfriend left with the child. The father was awarded custody of the boy last week.

Garcia says law enforcement officers on foot, helped by a state police aircraft, are combing the area near Prewitt for 41-year-old Elizabeth Denman and her boyfriend, 40-year-old Mark Cochran.

Garcia says they fled when state police stopped their car using a spike belt to flatten the tires.

State police say the chase began in Gallup, about 140 miles east of Albuquerque.

A state police officer patrolling in Gallup stopped a car for having a broken headlight just before midnight Sunday, then discovered from a license check that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Missouri, Garcia said.

When the officer ordered the driver and passenger out of the car, they drove off, and headed east on I-40, he said.

A state police officer and motor transportation officer were shot at when they followed, Garcia said.

A second state police officer put out the spike belt, and the driver and passenger fled when the car was forced to a stop, Garcia said.

Officers then discovered the child in the car.