Bakersfield police arrest former boyfriend of missing Baylee Despot after allegedly fleeing from officers during kidnapping investigation

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield police arrested Matthew Queen, 42, Monday afternoon after they say he jumped into the river between Yokuts and Beach parks, fleeing from officers investigating an ongoing kidnapping case.

At a press conference following the arrest, police said Queen was arrested for obstruction in a kidnapping investigation. Queen had been linked to the disappearance of Baylee Despot by Despot’s family, but police have not confirmed his arrest on Monday is in connection to Despot’s case.

Matthew Queen during an unrelated court appearance.

Police said officers were doing follow-up investigation on an ongoing kidnapping case at around 3:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Buck Owens Boulevard.

The department said Queen was spotted by officers, but he fled on foot and eventually ran toward the Kern River between Yokuts and Beach parks.

Police said Queen held onto a concrete support pillar in the center of the river near 24th and Oak Streets, but refused to surrender.

Bakersfield and Kern County fire crews were called in to help police catch Queen. BPD said the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals were also on scene.

Police negotiators were called to the scene but Queen eventually surrendered to officers and he walked out of the river, officials said.

During the Monday evening press conference, police said officers on scene who went into the river took extra precautions because may have been armed.

Police took Queen into custody after a two-hour standoff.

In a release late Monday night, police said investigators served a search warrant at a home in the 12000 block of Compass Avenue in connection to the investigation.

According to police, Queen was arrested and booked into the Kern County jail for kidnapping, conspiracy, resisting arrest and several weapons violations including possession of a firearm by a felon.

Queen is being held on $150,000 bail and is due in court on Thursday, according to a Kern County inmate database.

Despot was just 20 years old when she went missing on April 25, 2018.

We will update this story with more information. Check back for updates.

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