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Thread: Escondido teenager is found
01-09-07, 03:00 PM #1
Escondido teenager is found
I was going to post this as an Amber alert, but she's been located. I'm guessing she didn't know the guy was 300 lbs and married
Girl with S. Dakota man she met via the Internet
By Kristina Davis
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 9, 2007
ESCONDIDO The search for a 14-year-old girl who disappeared with an older man she met via the Internet ended yesterday when the pair rolled into the driveway of his South Dakota apartment building under the watchful eye of police, authorities said.
The girl, who went missing from the bedroom of her Escondido home Sunday morning, appeared to be unharmed, Sioux Falls police said.
We're just thrilled to have her found, said her mother, who said she hasn't eaten or slept for the past two days. It was truly a waking nightmare.
Authorities shifted their search to the Midwest yesterday after learning the girl had flown to Omaha, Neb., with Charles Leroy Crowell, 34.
Crowell, who lives in Sioux Falls with his wife and child, traveled to San Diego last week with plans to meet up with the teen at a Motel 6 near the Embarcadero, said Escondido police Lt. David Mankin.
According to a clerk at the Minnehaha County Correction Center in Sioux Falls, Crowell was booked last night on suspicion of rape.
The girl's name was widely used when police were seeking the public's help in finding her. However, The San Diego Union-Tribune is no longer identifying her because it is the policy of the newspaper to not name people who authorities believe are victims of sexual crimes.
The girl will stay at a juvenile detention facility until her parents can fly to Sioux Falls. Yesterday, her mother said she expects to bring her home later this week.
Sioux Falls police Officer Loren McManus said Crowell has a police record but declined to elaborate. Crowell is not a registered sex offender, McManus said.
A vigil last night turned into a thank-you prayer meeting as about 35 adults and children formed a circle with the girl's parents at a park inside their gated community in Escondido.
The girl was adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage five years ago.
Her parents took away her Internet privileges a few months ago after they discovered inappropriate online behavior, police said.
She told several men that she was 18 and developed relationships with them in chat rooms and Web sites such as MySpace.
She met Crowell on a service called hookt, which works through text messages on cell phones, her mother said. She didn't chat online through a computer at home and denied using her parents' cell phones to get online after she was confronted, her mother said.
Her father grounded her Thursday after he stumbled on her plans to take a taxi to the motel, Mankin said.
He also thwarted a runaway attempt Friday.
Her parents checked in on her throughout the weekend but discovered her missing at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
Her father remembered a long-distance phone bill that listed calls to Crowell in Sioux Falls. Police were able to confirm that someone by that name had checked into the Motel 6.
Crowell checked out Sunday morning before police could talk to him.
The pair separately purchased tickets to Omaha on Frontier Airlines, but were seated together for the flight, Mankin said.
Sioux Falls is about a three-hour drive from Omaha.
Crowell allowed the girl to call her mother yesterday from his cell phone, Mankin said. She told her mom she was OK, but didn't say where she was.
Her mother said her daughter called her twice, the first time for five minutes and then for 10 minutes. She said she could hear a man coaching her daughter.
I thought she was in danger the whole time she was with him, the mother said. It was almost like he was telling her what to say. She hung up at one point.
She said the message for her daughter was, We love her, and we want her home.
Staff writer Linda Lou and Today's Local News writer Darcy Richardson contributed to this report.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
01-09-07, 03:28 PM #2
Sounds like someone needs time in juvenile boot camp.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
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