March 14 (UPI) — A 13-year-old girl abducted two weeks ago from her home in Texas has been found locked in a shed in North Carolina, authorities said.
The teen was located by police Friday night on a residential property in Lexington, N.C., located about 60 miles northeast of Charlotte, Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons told reporters during a Monday press conference.
Simmons said the girl received medical attention after being found and has seen been returned to Texas.
Local resident Jorge Ivan Santos Camacho, 34, has been arrested and charged with child abduction, felonious restraint, human trafficking and two counts each of statutory rape of a child under the age of 15 and statutory sex offense with a child under 15.
Camacho made his first court appearance in Davidson County on Monday and is being held at the Davidson County Detention Center under a $1.25 million secure bond.
Police in Dallas had been investigating the disappearance of the girl who was last seen on the morning of March 1, according to missing posters posted online.
Amid the investigation, authorities learned that prior to her disappearance the girl had been chatting with the suspect via social media.
“The content of the chat was consistent with grooming and enticement and he enticed her to actually leave the home where he picked her up in the area,” Simmons said.
Video cameras in the area of the girl’s home captured a vehicle registered to an address in Davidson County.
Simmons said his office was contacted by the Texas FBI Violent Crimes Task Force at about 6 p.m. Friday, shortly after which they conducted a traffic stop on the registered vehicle in question and took the suspect into custody.
According to a Davidson County Sheriff’s Office press release, the girl was located and “did not appear to have any physical injuries.” The shed where she was found was locked from the outside on the Lexington property where the suspect also lived, Simmons said.
Simmons said his message to those listening is that they need to understand the dangers social media poses to children.
“This is becoming a major problem and this is how kids are sold into human trafficking. They’re not being able to be kids And how a 13-year-old would think it was a good idea to leave the home? What are we teaching our kids at home? It scares me,” he said.
“If it doesn’t stop at home, it comes to the schools, and the teachers have that responsibility, and if doesn’t stop there, it comes to us, unfortunately.”