LEXINGTON, NC — A missing 13-year-old Texas girl was found locked in a shed on the property of a North Carolina home, authorities said Monday.
Investigators with Dallas police and the FBI say a 34-year-old man persuaded the girl to leave his home while communicating with her on social media, then picked her up in his vehicle, Sheriff Richie Simmons told a news conference in Davidson County. North Carolina.
Video cameras near the girl's home recorded a vehicle registered to an address in Davidson County, and special agents with the Texas FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force contacted the sheriff's office there Friday, officials said in a news release.
“Within 10 minutes our men had sighted the residence,” said Captain Stephanie Murphy. “Things moved pretty quickly after that.”
Investigators found the vehicle and stopped traffic on its owner as he left the house, officials said. During their stop, they learned that the girl was locked in an outbuilding on the property in Lexington, where she was found. He was taken for medical evaluation and eventually returned to his home in Dallas, Texas, officials said.
The man, identified as Jorge Ivan Santos Camacho, is being held and charged with kidnapping, cruel restraint, human trafficking, statutory rape, statutory sex offense and indecent liberty. He is being held on bail for $1.25 million.
An attorney was appointed at Monday's hearing. Lawyers did not immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.
“It was very stressful and scary,” the teenage mother said Esthela told the WFAA. “We were looking forward to seeing him again and thank God that's what happened.”
Esthela told the WFAA that she and her family will work together to get as much help as possible and grow stronger. She warned other parents about the dangers of the internet saying you shouldn't get too involved in what your kids are doing online.
“We know the risks, and we talked to him about it… But still this is happening, it's something terrible,” he said. “Could be much worse. Could be, and we're lucky not.”
Copyright © 2023 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – Associated Press contributed to this report.