COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Eight-year-old Shasta Groene is out of the hospital — five days after she was found at a restaurant with the man who allegedly abducted her, and whom authorities suspect killed four of her family members.
The girl was released from Kootenai Medical Center to her father, Steve Groene (search), and is doing well, Kootenai County sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. He would not say when she was released.
With her mother and an older brother slain, another brother likely dead — and traumatized herself by nearly seven weeks of captivity with a convicted sex offender — Shasta faces life with different family members and the psychological fallout from her ordeal.
Wolfinger said he had no information on what Shasta's follow-up treatment would entail.
She is believed to be the sole survivor among the five people in her home the night authorities allege Joseph Edward Duncan III (search) appeared and bound the older family members.
Shasta's 13-year-old brother Slade, her mother, Brenda, and her mother's boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, were beaten to death. Their bodies were found May 16.
Her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, was abducted with Shasta and is believed dead. Remains found at a remote western Montana campsite are being analyzed for positive identification.
Duncan is charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, and authorities have said they believe he was responsible for the attacks on the family. Sheriff Rocky Watson said he believes the motive was to acquire the children for sex.
Deputy county prosecutor Lansing Haynes said Thursday no additional charges are likely to be filed this week against Duncan, who is being held without bail.
Public defender Lynn Nelson did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Kidnapping in Idaho can carry the death penalty; authorities do not have to make a formal decision whether to pursue that penalty until 30 days after a plea is entered in the case.
Duncan, 42, a convicted sex offender in Washington state who lived most recently in Fargo, N.D., was on the run from an earlier child molestation charge when he was arrested Saturday at a Denny's restaurant. Shasta was with him.
His public defender, Lynn Nelson, did not return calls Thursday.
On Wednesday, Shasta's father said she was doing very well. "Certainly more than we could hope for," he said. "She's very upbeat, she's pretty healthy, she's glad to be home."
Groene, 48, said after leaving the hospital that Shasta would benefit from a large extended family. "This is all so incomprehensible," he said. "It will take quite a lot of time for us to even realize what happened here."
Law enforcement officials carefully questioned the little girl while she was in the hospital, and say she described the night of her abduction, helped them pinpoint the Montana campsites where she and Dylan were kept, and told them Duncan was the only person involved.
Mental health experts caution the ordeal is bound to have lasting impacts.
"She has witnessed horrible things," said Dr. Paul Domitor, a Spokane, Wash., psychiatrist. "These things will stay with her."