COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Shasta Groene (search), the Idaho girl found safe six weeks after she was kidnapped, told investigators she and her brother, Dylan, were repeatedly molested during their harrowing ordeal.
The 8-year-old's statements place suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III (search) inside the rural Idaho home where the girl's mother, older brother and mother's boyfriend were bound and bludgeoned to death. Their bodies were found on May 16.
Shasta Groene told authorities the man repeatedly molested her and her brother Dylan.
“She was able to explain to the investigators in great detail the molestation,” Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger told FOX News.
“That was the first time she’d seen Duncan,” he said the girl stated in court documents.
Shasta's ordeal finally ended Saturday morning when people at a Denny's restaurant recognized her and called police.
Her brother Dylan was presumed dead. A body believed by authorities to be that of the 9-year-old was found in western Montana and awaits positive identification.
“We don’t have the physical evidence yet to say Dylan is definitely dead,” Wolfinger said.
"There’s about 60 investigators” working on the case and trying to find out: “Did Duncan act alone?” And if not, “Who was with him?” the sheriff's captain said.
Darlene Torres, Shasta's grandmother, told FOX that the family refuses to give up hope that Dylan will be found alive, despite the discovery of human remains in Montana. "We are not going to lose hope until we're sure that's confirmed," Torres told FOX.
Torres also said Duncan has no known connection to the family. "Nobody in the family has ever seen this man before — ever," Torres said.
Misty Cooper, Shasta's aunt, said Shasta "seems to be doing really good right now" but that the family has not spoken to the girl about her ordeal.
"We just go on with every day, normal things," Cooper said.
Added Torres: "It’s been great having Shasta back. We’re still unsure about Dylan."
Shasta Groene said her nightmare began when she was awakened, tied up and carried with her 9-year-old brother to a waiting pickup truck.
Duncan, 42, of Fargo, N.D., a convicted sex offender on the run from an earlier child molestation count, was charged Tuesday in 1st District Court with two counts of first-degree kidnapping.
The intent of the crimes, court documents said, was to rape, seriously injure or commit a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16 years old. Duncan has not been charged with anything other than the kidnapping counts, which can carry the death penalty or life in prison.
"Shasta and Dylan were repeatedly molested," Kootenai County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Maskell wrote in a terse, handwritten affidavit released Tuesday. "Shasta saw Mr. Duncan molest Dylan."
The girl told Maskell she had never seen Duncan before.
She was awakened at her home and watched as her mother Brenda Groene, 13-year-old brother Slade and Mark McKenzie, her mother's boyfriend, were tied up, the document said. She and Dylan were also bound and placed in the pickup truck. The children were later transferred to a stolen red Jeep and taken to the first of three campsites, she said.
The affidavit does not mention the beating deaths of the girl's family or whether she witnessed the killings. It also did not say if she witnessed what happened to Dylan.
Shasta told officers that Duncan did not have an accomplice. Despite her statement, investigators were still trying to determine if Duncan acted alone, Wolfinger said.
Duncan was shackled and appeared unshaven and choked up as he quietly answered Magistrate Judge Scott Wayman during a brief appearance Tuesday via video link.
Duncan had spent more than a decade in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in Tacoma, Wash., and was a fugitive at the time of his arrest after he was charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy in Minnesota.
He was released on $15,000 bail earlier this year after being charged with molesting the boy. Police in Fargo, N.D., had been looking for Duncan since May, when he failed to check in with a probation agent.
Shasta and Dylan Groene's aunt, Wendy Price, told FOX she wants the judge who released Duncan to be held accountable and she also said future cases similar to this one must be prevented.
"I believe every judge who lets these people out of jail with these low bails, slap-on-the-wrist convictions ... something has to be done. We have to start looking into the records of these judges," Price told FOX.
Duncan was described as relaxed and clean-cut when he stopped at a store in the western Montana logging community of St. Regis more than a month ago for gas and a 12-pack of Bud Light.
He chatted with attendant Jackie Allen for nearly 15 minutes, peppering her with questions about area parks and campgrounds and asking for directions to nearby communities.
Allen said she was "shocked and stunned" to learn that the man she said visited her store was Duncan.
"I know people can fool you, but he was a really clean-cut and relaxed guy," Allen said. "It's just kind of shocked me. I still don't know what to think."
Like others in the timber town of about 300 near the Idaho line, Allen had been on the lookout for Dylan and Shasta since they were reported missing seven weeks ago.
Posters with their photos hung in nearly every business in town. And though hundreds of tourists pass through every day en route to Glacier National Park (search), residents watched for any suspicious people or activities.
After Duncan's arrest, business owners meticulously paged through fishing licenses and other records, checking to see if he'd stopped in their establishments.
"You hate for this kind of thing to happen anywhere, but especially for it to happen close to home," said Laura Palmer, a St. Regis gift shop employee and longtime resident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.