Image: Jessica Marie Lunsford.
Citrus County Sherrifs Dept. via Getty Images  /  Getty Images
Jessica Marie Lunsford of Homosassa, Florida, disappeared without a trace on the night of Feb 23.
updated 3/5/2005 10:37:19 AM ET 2005-03-05T15:37:19

The grandfather of a missing 9-year-old girl has admitted to police that he was arrested a half-century ago for attempted rape and planning a kidnapping.

Officers say there is no sign that Archie Lunsford had anything to do with his granddaughter’s disappearance but are not ruling him out as a suspect.

Jessica Marie Lunsford hasn’t been seen since Feb. 23, after her grandmother tucked her into bed at the family’s home, about 60 miles north of Tampa.

Lunsford confirmed to detectives that he had been arrested three times in the 1950s after investigators found his record while checking the backgrounds of the grandparents and the girl’s father, Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said. The Lunsfords and their son and granddaughter live together.

Archie Lunsford said Indianapolis authorities arrested him in 1954 on a charge of planning a kidnapping during what he described as a custody dispute. He was arrested again in Indianapolis four years later for assault and battery. In 1959, authorities in Titusville, Fla., arrested him for attempted rape of an adult woman.

Lunsford told detectives he was never convicted, but Dawsy said the difficulty of finding old criminal records meant he could not immediately confirm the stories.

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