Church Recruiter Accused Of Kidnapping Boy
ST. CLOUD, Fla. — The owner of a church staff recruiting firm, who police said allegedly kidnapped a boy from a Walmart and then touched himself in front of him, turned himself in Saturday night.
Gordon Libby, 55, turned himself in to the St. Cloud Police Department after he was told that he was on the news as a suspect in the kidnapping.
Police said during questioning, Libby gave a statement indicating he was at the Walmart at the time of the incident. Libby wouldn’t provide police with any other information and asked to speak to an attorney.
Libby founded the company Pastors4u.com, which claims to “provide long-term placement of staff pastors and ministry personnel within church communities and ministries nationwide.”
According to the company’s website, Libby graduated from a bible college with a ministerial diploma and is a community youth pastor for various churches.
Police said Libby took the boy from the Walmart store on 13th Street around 6:30 p.m. Friday. He allegedly threatened to stab the boy, but never showed a weapon, a police press release indicated.
Minutes later, Libby drove to the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot and performed a sexual act on himself, police said. The minor told police he was never touched or hurt.
â€œIâ€™ve never seen anything like that. Definitely. Never,â€ said shopper Claudia Mason.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t surprise me,â€ said shopper Barbara Cosser. â€œItâ€™s happening everywhere.â€
Police did not indicate where the boyâ€™s parents were at the time of the incident. It is also unknown if the boy knew the suspect.
In a e-mailed statement to WFTV, Walmart spokeswoman Ashley Hardee wrote: â€œWe take these situations very seriously and are working with law enforcement to do everything we can to help in their investigation.â€
Hardee would not address questions about store security, citing company policy.
Libby is currently being held at the Osceola County jail. He is facing several felony charges, including kidnapping and lewd and lascivious battery.
A first court appearance for Libby is scheduled for Monday afternoon.