EDGEWATER, Fla. (WSVN) — Florida deputies say a 13-year-old girl who went missing was found inside a hotel room with a 22-year-old man she met online.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office shared deputy body camera video showing the moments leading up to the detention of the man who was found in the room with the girl.
Investigators said they responded to a report of a missing child on Thursday after the girl’s grandmother said she never came home and she didn’t show up to a basketball game after school.
The sheriff’s office said Deputy Royce James spoke to a friend of the girl who said the victim was planning on going to a motel with someone she met online. The friend said she believed the man’s name began with a T and was possibly named Tyler, and that he was from Orlando. She also said the victim may have been picked up at a nearby dollar store.
Officials said James went to the dollar store to look for security video and found surveillance images of the victim at the store. An employee reported the girl said she was waiting for someone to pick her up.
Investigators said Deputy James then began searching nearby hotels and upon reaching the third one, learned that a man named Tyler Johnson, with an address listed out of Orlando, had rented a room.
Deputies went to the man’s room where they found the girl inside with the man, officials said.
Investigators said when Deputy James came into the room, the girl ran and gave him a hug.
The girl was ultimately taken to a Department of Children and Families facility for evaluation before being taken home.
Deputies arrested 22-year-old Tyler Thompson. He has been charged with interference of custody and using a computer to lure a child. Additional charges remain pending.
Thompson was released on $15,000 bond.
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