Where is Robert Berchtold now? | The sex fiend who inspired “Abducted in Plain Sight”

What did Robert Berchtold do?

Robert Berchtold was a paedophile who abused a child called Jan Broberg after grooming her and getting close to her family between 1972 and 1976. He eventually abducted and married her. Berchtold was a neighbour of the Broberg family and in 1974, he picked Jan up from her piano lessons in Pocatello, Idaho, claiming he was going to take her horseback riding. In reality, he drugged the 12-year-old girl and staged the scene to make it look like they had been captured and taken away against their will.

He then fled with Jan to Mexico, where he married her and even asked her parents’ permission to return to the United States and be legally wed. Bob and Mary Ann Broberg refused his request, but Berchtold returned home with Jan anyway, and in a bizarre twist, things seemed to go back to normal without any charges being brought forward by the Brobergs. The story gets weirder, as Berchtold entered into a sexual relationship with both Jan’s parents before kidnapping their daughter for a second time a couple of years later. 

Did Berchtold ever face justice for his crimes?

Berchtold eventually vanished from Jan Broberg’s life and managed to avoid going to prison. However, 30 years later, after Mary Ann published a book about her daughter, Jan’s abduction and subsequent abuse called Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story, Berchtold resurfaced to rubbish the claims against him. But 6 other women came forward with their own stories about how Berchtold abused them. Jan Broberg filed a stalking injunction against him after he was arrested at one of her speaking engagements.

Berchtold and Jan eventually saw each other again, but this time it was in a courtroom, and it ended up with Berchtold being given a prison sentence for his crimes. 

Where is Robert Berchtold now? 

Robert Berchtold decided he couldn’t face a life behind bars, so he downed a bottle of heart medication with Kahlúa and milk and ended his life. He was 69 years old when he died in 2005.

The case became well known around the world after the release of Netflix’s true crime documentary, Abducted in Plain Sight, in 2017. 

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