Man accused of Indiana child kidnapping, attempted murder has long South Dakota criminal history

Investigates

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A man who spent 15 years in and out of prison in South Dakota is now a potential suspect in the murders of two Indiana girls in 2017.

42-year-old James Chadwell is currently charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted murder of a 9-year-old girl, in Lafayette, Indiana, about 20 miles from Delphi, where the two girls were murdered.

KELOLAND investigates has been looking into Chadwell’s criminal history in South Dakota.

Police found a 9-year-old girl in James Chadwell’s Lafayette, Indiana, basement chained and naked

Chadwell is in jail, currently awaiting trial after a nine-year-old girl was found naked and covered in dog bites in his Indiana basement last month.

Investigators there say they are trying to determine if Chadwell is connected to the Delphi murders in 2017.

The Indiana prosecutor’s office recently requested details on Chadwell’s record here in South Dakota.

Abby Williams and Libby German’s killer abducted the eighth-grade girls along the nature trails east of Delphi, Indiana. He forced them to a secluded site, where he killed them. An image and sound of a suspect were captured on one of the victim’s phones.

On the fourth anniversary of the girls’ murders in February, one of their grandparents spoke out about catching their killer.

“The clock is ticking for him, whether it be today or tomorrow, it’s ticking. Technology is getting better and better and we’re going to get him,” Becky Patty, Libby German’s Grandmother, said.

James Chadwell II when detained by SD Dept. of Corrections

Before moving to Indiana, James Chadwell racked up an eight-page rap sheet in South Dakota.

In 2000, he was sentenced to prison for grand theft after buying stolen guns.

That same year he also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against a Rapid City police officer. While he was serving a five-year sentence, in 2002, he assaulted a correctional officer and got more time.

He got out on parole in 2009, but was sent back to prison in 2012, after getting his second DUI with 10-and-11-year-old children in the car.

While initially charged with child abuse, he plead guilty to contributing to the neglect of a child–a misdemeanor.

Chadwell was released on parole again in 2013, but a few months later burglarized a Sioux Falls business and his wife turned him in.


According to a reporter with The Daily Mail, who spoke to Chadwell’s brother, he once “shoved his wife so hard he left an imprint of her body on the wall.” They divorced in 2013.

KELOLAND Investigates located Chadwell’s ex-wife, but she did not return our messages.

While in South Dakota, we’ve been able to determine that Chadwell lived in Rapid City and Brandon. He was released on parole in December of 2015 to Indiana.

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