Child Kidnapper Sentenced to Prison

SAULT STE MARIE, MI – Dale Pavlat Sr. was sentenced on August 31, 2021 to 7-30 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections for kidnapping a special-needs, non-verbal child last year. On April 29, 2020 the child wandered from her home and law enforcement and the community came together to search for her. A command post was established at the Lake Superior State University and approximately 100 volunteers showed up and assisted with search efforts. The response from our community and concern for the child’s wellbeing was tremendous.

The child was ultimately located in the apartment of Dale Pavlat. The Sault Ste. Marie Police Department executed search warrants of the premises obtaining evidence including video surveillance. They accompanied the child to the hospital for medical attention, and secured the medical records that would later be used to prosecute the defendant. The child was returned to her family that day, and the investigation continued. Ultimately, the defendant was convicted of kidnapping the child and will serve at least 7 years in prison before becoming eligible to plead his case before a parole board.

Prosecutor Stratton states, “The most terrifying experience any parent can have is a missing child. During that time, every possible thing that can happen flashes through the parent’s head. The police and community did an excellent job of finding and returning this child to her home. Unfortunately, there are evil people in our community who take advantage of that sort of situation, and they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. The sentence of 7 years to 30 years does not go nearly far enough in protecting the community or punishing the defendant, but that is the maximum sentence permitted by law in this case.”

Chief Bierling states, “This is another fine example of how well the Sault area law enforcement, public safety, and community unite for a common cause. Saving a child from the grips of a predator and then prosecuting successfully; this is how business gets done and why we serve and protect everyday”.

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Department performed a thorough investigation, which was instrumental to convicting the defendant. Additionally, credit is deserved and must be given to these mutual aid partners for their assistance with search and investigation efforts: Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department, Bay Mills Police Department, Sault Tribe Police Department, US Customs, Michigan State Police, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, and US Border Patrol.

This story was prepared by the staff at EUP News or contributed from an outside source.

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