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Iowa Man, Wanted For Sex Abuse Of Own Kids, Caught In Chicago

James Julius Beaudrie

James Julius Beaudrie was captured in Chicago on Thursday. He had been wanted in Des Moines, Iowa, for allegedly sexually abusing at least one of his own children. (Credit: U.S. Marshals)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — An Iowa man is back in custody, after being captured in Chicago following a nationwide manhunt on charges that he tried to sexually assault at least one of his own children.

James Julius Beaudrie, 36, of Des Moines, was captured by U.S. Marshals around 7:30 a.m. Thursday in an apartment complex in the 4400 block of North Lawndale Avenue, in the Albany Park neighborhood. His mother was believed to live in the complex, officials said.

He had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Beaudrie is the father of nine children ranging in age from infancy to 16, and had been wanted by Des Moines police on eight counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

Officials said the police department asked the marshals for help after finding out that Beaudrie had fled Iowa, kicking off a nationwide manhunt.

Officials noted that the 6-foot, 3-inch 400-pound man is a fan of “Magic: The Gathering” and “Yu-Gi-Oh” trading cards and games and might be traveling the nation attending conventions and trade shows where the cards could be bought and sold.

On April 13, U.S. Marshals and police found Beaudrie’s abandoned van at a Greyhound Bus Station in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City was also the site of a “Magic: The Gathering” convention on March 31 and April 1.

Finally, the Great Lakes Regional Task Force – a police team led by the U.S. Marshals – traced Beaudrie to the Lawndale Avenue building. The task force entered the apartment and discovered Beaudrie had fled through a back door, officials said.

Beaudrie was soon found hiding under a stairwell in the apartment complex and arrested without incident.

The investigation against Beaudrie began back in October, when one of his daughters, 15, ran away, according to CBS affiliate KCCI-TV, Des Moines. Beaudrie was charged with assault causing injury to the girl, who ran away again on Jan. 30, KCCI reported.

Beaudrie’s wife, Kijua Beaudrie, was arrested earlier this month, and charged with three counts of neglect of a dependent child. An arrest warrant for James Julius Beaudrie was issued April 6.

Afterward, all of the couple’s children were placed in shelters or foster care after their mother’s arrest, KCCI reported.

KCCI reports the six-month investigation that led to the charges led to an assortment of sad and strange revelations.

For one, the family was apparently living inside the Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, in the back of a game store that James Beaudrie owned.

“He, his wife, and the nine kids lived there, to my knowledge, without anybody at Merle Hay knowing,” Des Moines police Sgt. Chris Scott told KCCI earlier this week.

People working at the mall described the parents as aloof, KCCI reported. The children were described as friendly, but expressed reservations about their second home on the ground floor of a Des Moines motel, KCCI’s Patrick Bell reported.

Officials said an investigation by marshals in Beaudrie’s home town pointed to the Albany Park apartment complex as a possible address for the alleged sex offender’s mother.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.