Man found with missing 9-year-old in basement sentenced to 90 years

James Brian Caldwell II, 42, of Lafayette, Indiana. [Image credit: Tippecanoe County Jail]

Lafayette, Indiana: Yesterday Tippecanoe Superior Court Judge Steve Meyer sentenced 42-year-old James Brian Chadwell II to 90 years in prison for the kidnapping, molestation, and attempted murder of a 9-year-old girl that was reported missing on April 19, 2021.


Chadwell's sentence includes a 20-year enhancement for being a habitual offender.


After Chadwell's arrest, law enforcement briefly looked into him as a possible suspect in the case involving the murder of two young teenagers, 13-year-old Abigail Joyce Williams and 14-year-old Rose Lynn German in 2017.


In October, after his attorney's request for a change of venue was denied, Chadwell pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder, two counts of child molestation, kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery with serious bodily injury, and strangulation.


Chadwell claimed that he was "very drunk" at the time and had no clear memory of what happened, but did not dispute the victim's account of events.


After he pleaded guilty, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington expressed relief at a jury being spared viewing the bodycam video from the officers rescuing the girl.


"It's so graphic that most people who observed it have sought mental health treatment," he said. "It's disturbing. It's disturbing that a human being could ever treat another person in this matter."


In a statement Thursday Harrington said, "The victim fought the defendant, and is a true survivor of this unimaginable attack. The family thanks the Lafayette Police Officers for their outstanding effort to quickly locate the victim, and safe her from any further harm."


Under current Indiana law Chadwell will not be eligible for parole until 2091.