Video: Deputy tracks missing 13-year-old girl to motel; Orlando man arrested
02/22/2021 6:17 pm PST
EDGEWATER, Fla. (TCD) --
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office released video Monday of an investigation that led to the arrest of a 22-year-old man who allegedly took a 13-year-old girl he met online to a Edgewater motel.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, an Oak Hill woman reported her granddaughter missing around 6:15 p.m., according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. The woman told deputies the 13-year-old girl did not attend her after-school basketball game and had not come home.
A friend of the victim told a deputy the missing girl was planning to go to a motel with someone she met online, possibly from Orlando, with a “T” in his name. The friend said she thought the missing girl might have been picked up at a local Dollar General store.
The deputy found surveillance video images of the girl at the store, and a store employee said the girl had said she was waiting for her ride, according to the sheriff’s office.
The deputy checked with clerks at area motels with a photo of the missing girl; at the third motel he found a registration for Orlando resident Tyler Thompson. Deputies found 22-year-old Thompson inside the room.
Body-camera video appears to show Thompson wearing only shorts as he opens the door and answers questions in the dark room. The 13-year-old girl approached one of the deputies “and gave him a hug,” the sheriff’s office reports.
VIDEO: Volusia deputy tracks down, rescues missing girl in motel room with man she met online - Volusia Sheriff's Office Facebook
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Tyler Thompson, 22, was arrested at the All Suite Motel on Ridgewood Ave. in Edgewater. Thompson was charged with interference with child custody. The Edgewater Police Dept. added the charge of traveling to see after using a computer to lure a child. The sheriff’s office said additional charges were pending. Thompson was released Friday on $15,000 bail.
The 13-year-old girl was evaluated at a Department of Children and Families facility and then taken home.
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