Missing 14-year-old found in Indiana man’s bathroom with hickey on his neck
03/23/2023 1:03 pm PDT
KOKOMO, Ind. (TCD) -- A 53-year-old man is being accused of sex trafficking after police discovered a missing 14-year-old in his bathroom as well as sexually explicit material on an electronic device.
On March 19, the Tell City Police Department reached out to Kokomo Police regarding a 14-year-old male who had been reported missing the day prior. Officers began investigating and ultimately located him at a residence on the 4000 block of Independence Drive, where he was then transported to a hospital for evaluation.
Kokomo Police detectives obtained a warrant to search the home and took several electronic devices as evidence. Subsequently, the Kokomo Police Department Forensic Computer Lab allegedly discovered "suspected child sexual abuse material" on one of the devices, which reportedly belonged to Michael Horne.
Horne was taken into custody for promotion of child sexual trafficking, but Kokomo Police said there will likely be additional charges.
According to court documents cited by WXIN-TV, a residential security system helped trace Horne and the teen after video footage reportedly showed Horne’s vehicle in the area where the teen went missing.
When Kokomo Police went to Horne’s home, he reportedly said nobody else was inside with him. Officers, however, discovered the missing teen in the bathroom, and he reportedly appeared "very lethargic" and "out of it."
WXIN reports the teen had what appeared to be a hickey on his neck.
Horne allegedly told investigators the teen approached him at a gas station and asked if he could stay with Horne. The teen reportedly had no recollection of getting the hickey.
Investigators allegedly found photos of the teen and Horne in Horne’s Tesla and a naked picture of the teen. Kokomo Police reportedly asked Horne if they’d find his DNA on the victim, and Horne replied, "Well..." and asked for a lawyer.
Howard County Jail records show Horne is being held on $25,000 bond.
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