Saturday, 2:15 PM
Former NH policeman and radio host arrested in California
By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff
A former New Hampshire police officer and local radio talk show personality was arrested in California tonight on fugitive from justice and child pornography charges, after an intense dayslong manhunt.
Aaron Aldridge, a 42-year-old personality on WNTK in New London, N.H., was tracked by Newton, N.H. police working with law enforcement from other states and the US Marshal’s Service.
He faces charges in California of being a fugitive from justice and will be returned to New Hampshire on warrants for possession of child pornography and production of child pornography, said Newton Police Chief David Hoyt, in a telephone interview.
Aldridge had been wanted since last Wednesday, when a family member, concerned over his disappearance with his 19-year-old daughter, started searching his belongings and found pornographic images on his computer. Some of the images seemed to have been produced inside Aldridge’s South Main Street home, police said.
On Friday, the daughter was found at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. She was unharmed, and seemed to be attempting to contact her family when she was found, Hoyt said.
"Aaron had at that point figured out we were on to him, left her there and possibly fled," the chief said. Police believe Aldridge was still in Florida on Friday, but an investigation showed he crossed the country, making his way by car through Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and California. Hoyt said police used several methods to track Aldridge, including highway video surveillance.
Aldridge was arrested about 7 p.m. local time in San Bernadino County, California.
Hoyt said police have spoken with Aldridge’s daughter and that she is safe, but said investigators grew concerned when the manhunt began.
“There were many things that we uncovered that made us concerned for her safety, but also for his safety and the safety of others,” the chief said.
In New Hampshire, Aldridge had worked in several pivotal jobs in the community. In the last six months, he worked as a radio personality. And previously, he worked as a reporter at the Eagle-Times, a newspaper in Claremont, N.H.
Hoyt said Aldridge had no record of problems when he was a patrol officer in Newport, from 1999 to 2004. Aldridge left voluntarily to pursue other opportunities, he said.