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‘Spiritual Advisor’ Arrested for Allegedly Helping Jacob Clare Plan Kidnapping of Son and Teen; Case Sparked Nationwide AMBER Alert

Marisa Henson appears in a mugshot from the Sumner County, Tenn. Jail.

Marisa Henson appears in a mugshot from the Sumner County, Tenn. Jail.

A self-professed “spiritual advisor” in Tennessee has been arrested after police say she helped one of her clients plan the kidnapping of his 3-year-old son and the sexual assault of a teenager. Marisa Henson, 37, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon by officers with the Gallatin Police Department for assisting Jacob Francis Allen Clare in the alleged kidnapping that sparked a multi-state AMBER Alert earlier this month, Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN-TV reported.

According to the report, investigators told WKRN that Henson had prior knowledge of Clare’s plan to kidnap two people and flee to California. She at no time made any attempt to prevent him from executing the plan or to alert the authorities about the impending criminal activity, the report alleges. Henson reportedly even helped Clare get his hands on the vehicle he is accused of using during the commission of the crime.

Clare was arrested in California following a massive manhunt; he was charged with one count of felony kidnapping in connection to his son and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, two counts of oral copulation with a minor, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor, and two counts of incest in connection with a teenage girl, according to a press release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

A police affidavit obtained by the Nashville television station reportedly said that Henson met with Clare at the Opry Mills shopping mall in Nashville on Oct. 20. There, the pair allegedly discussed the planned kidnapping. During that meeting, Henson allegedly used her phone to look up used cars for sale on Facebook Marketplace at Clare’s request. Clare allegedly told Henson to use her phone so the search couldn’t be traced back to him.

Jacob Clare appears in a mugshot released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Jacob Clare appears in a mugshot released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Henson reportedly drove Clare to purchase the vehicle, a Subaru Legacy, from a person in Smyrna. After buying the car, Clare allegedly drove to Henson’s home where he packed the vehicle with clothes and camping gear, per the affidavit. Police say Clare then parked the Subaru in a strip mall parking lot and had Henson pick him up and bring him back to her home.

Henson reportedly used her phone to help Clare search for the fastest route from Tennessee to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the teen lived.

Clare on Nov. 7 reportedly picked up his son, Noah Clare, for a scheduled visit but never returned the child to his mother. Instead, he reportedly drove the Subaru to Bowling Green where investigators say he picked up the 16-year-old who was reported missing a few days after the mother of Clare’s son reported her child missing. Authorities believe the young girl initially went with Clare willingly.

Clare’s vehicle was reportedly spotted in Arizona and then in California before he was picked up in Orange County.  Officially originally feared Clare was headed to Michigan; that theory turned out to be a bust.

According to WKRN, when investigators asked Henson about the nature of her relationship with Clare, she told them she was his “spiritual advisor.”

Henson, who reportedly lives in Mount Juliet and has a family there, was charged with one count of criminal facilitation, a class B felony that carries a maximum sentence of eight to 12 years in prison. Henson was released from the Sumner County Jail after posting $125,000 bond Tuesday evening.

In a statement to Nashville NBC affiliate WSMV, Noah’s mother, Amanda Ennis, said she did not know anything about Henson prior to her arrest.

“I can’t believe a mother would help kidnap another mother’s son,” Ennis reportedly said. “Mothers are supposed to have each other’s backs.”

[image via Sumner County Jail]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.