Spokane Girl Freed After 7 1/2-Hour Siege

SALT LAKE CITY - An Oregon parolee, holed up in a church threatening to kill a 9-year-old girl he had abducted from Spokane, was overpowered by FBI agents and the girl was freed unharmed yesterday.

Richard John Tarver, 35, was whisked from the Four Square Gospel Church moments after agents set off a flash-bang device that disoriented him long enough for agents to close in, ending the 7 1/2-hour standoff.

Tarver had been convinced by negotiators to put down the knife he had been holding at the girl's throat, said FBI spokesman Lee Rasmussen.

The girl, who Rasmussen said appeared unharmed, was taken to Primary Children's Medical Center for observation.

Tarver appeared before U.S. Magistrate Ron Boyce late yesterday for arraignment on federal kidnapping charges. U.S. Attorney David Jordan said Boyce ordered Tarver held over the weekend to undergo psychiatric examination and to confirm his identity.

Tarver had been sought for questioning in the Wednesday-afternoon disappearance of Amber Kern from her Spokane neighborhood.