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Woman who allegedly abducted her kids at knifepoint says she’s not guilty; cohort takes plea

BUFFALO CENTER – A woman who allegedly abducted her kids at knifepoint last year in Buffalo Center says she is not guilty, even as her cohort took a plea deal.

On November 23, 2016 around 4:25pm the Buffalo Center Chief of Police Matt Holmquist was flagged down by a motorist and alerted to suspicious activity near the 400 block of Second Street northwest.

A man and woman were seen walking up to a house and acting suspicious. Several minutes later the same couple were seen leaving with two small children. They walked to a silver SUV that had been parked a distance away from the house.

The Buffalo Center Police Department and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the incident. A babysitter at the house told law enforcement that the two kids ages 3 and 1 were taken by an unknown male and the children’s biological mother, Ashley Machain, who had brandished a knife.

Law Enforcement began searching for the silver SUV, Machain and the male accomplice. At 2:25am the two children were recovered safely in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Machain and the male, Daniel Smith were taken into police custody. Machain was charged with Burglary 2nd (Class C Felony) and Child Endangerment (Class D Felony). Smith was charged with Burglary 2nd (Class C Felony) and Driving While Barred (Aggravated Misdemeanor).

Agencies Assisting in the incident were Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, Forest City Police Department, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa State Patrol (ISP), Fort Dodge Police Department, Faribault County, MN Sheriff’s Office, Wells, MN Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Office, Ames Police Department, Iowa State University Police Department, Department of Human Services and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

Court records show Machain has entered a not-guilty plea and is set for a November 1 jury trial in Winnebago county.

However, Smith pled guilty to reduced charges of trespassing and driving while barred; the other charges were dismissed.  He must serve 30 days in jail and pay $1,229.50 in fines and court fees.


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