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.
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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.