Suspect in Long Beach Abduction Is Arrested


A drifter who allegedly abducted and molested an 8-year-old Long Beach girl before abandoning her in the desert was behind bars Saturday after a three-week search led investigators to the suspect in a Palm Springs bar, police said.

Blaine Kelley Beckham, who calls himself “Cowboy Kelley,” was being held in Long Beach Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail and was expected to be arraigned by Tuesday on charges of molestation and kidnaping.

Beckham, 34, befriended the girl’s family about six months ago after they were introduced by mutual friends, said Long Beach Police spokeswoman Karen Kerr.


On Nov. 29, the parents allowed Beckham to take the girl to a grocery store. Instead of going to the store, Beckham drove the girl to a remote desert area in Riverside County and, after binding her hands with her shoelaces, allegedly sexually assaulted her, Kerr said. He left the girl in the desert and drove away, Kerr said. The girl managed to flag down a passing car and summon help.

Police launched a massive media blitz in the weeks following the incident, distributing drawings of Beckham that led to numerous tips. A photograph obtained from one of Beckham’s acquaintances was distributed widely across Southern California.

Beckham was arrested Friday by Palm Springs police after bar patrons recognized him and detained him.