A Florida man is facing criminal charges after he was found on Thursday with a missing 13-year-old girl in a motel room, according to reports.
Volusia police said in a statement that the girl’s grandmother stated she did not come home from school on Thursday and did not attend an afterschool basketball game. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that the friend told police the missing girl mentioned going to a motel with a man whose name starts with T, possibly Tyler, and the man may have picked her up at a Dollar General store in Oak Hill.
According to police, Deputy Royce James inspected surveillance video from the store and spotted the victim. An employee reportedly told the deputy they had spoken to the girl and she said she was waiting for someone to pick her up.
James searched three local motels before learning that Tyler Thompson, 22, had checked into a motel in Edgewater. The officer’s bodycam footage apparently shows him knocking on the motel door before a shirtless Thompson answers.
“Had it not been for the deputy who found her, this could potentially have been a tragedy,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“Who knows what kind of harm might have happened to her?”
James is heard asking Thompson his age on three instances before Thompson says he is 22.
“Oh you f**ked up,” the deputy says. “You f**ked up real good.”
Police said upon entering the motel room, the 13-year-old ran to the deputy and gave him a hug. The girl reportedly asked James to accompany her while she was evaluated and interviewed. The deputy took her home after she was medically cleared, according to the statement.
Thompson is charged with depriving custody of a minor/incompetent person and traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child. He was released from custody after posting $15,000 bail.
Volusia police said the Edgewater Police Department is in the process of determining if additional charges will be filed in this case.
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[Featured image: Volusia Sheriff’s Office]