Man Charged in Abduction and Killing of 11-Year-Old Girl in New Mexico

Tom Begaye pleaded not guilty on Wednesday

A man accused of kidnapping and killing an 11-year-old girl from Navajo Nation land in New Mexico on Monday intended to sexually assault her, according to court documents, NBC News reported.

Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, New Mexico, was arrested Tuesday and faces federal charges including murder and kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Begaye allegedly told investigators that he drove the girl and her 9-year-old brother to a dirt road and took the girl away from the van. He said he struck her with a tire iron because she was crying, the criminal complaint said. The boy was told to get out, and was later taken to police by a passing motorist.

The man said little as he appeared before a judge in Farmington Wednesday, according to station KOB. Begaye is being held in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing.

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