PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — A 15-year-old Texas girl who told her parents she was flying to a church retreat in Florida was rescued from a rental home where she was found with a convicted felon.
According to a press release from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Vincent Robusto, 38, was arrested July 23 on several charges in the case.
The teen’s parents told police that several days prior, the teen boarded a plane to what they believed to be an all-inclusive church retreat in Florida.
After not hearing from the teen for several days, they contacted authorities, and her phone was located at the address of the vacation rental in Florida.
Deputies knocked on the door and saw a man run to a back room, refusing to open the door. Police found a vehicle in the driveway and contacted the owner, who was able to persuade Robusto to come out the front door with the teen.
The teen told police she had tried to open the door for them but was held back by Robusto and told to stay quiet. She told police she remembered getting off a plane in Fort Myers and walking down a street to where she was met by Robusto.
The two went to the residence in which she was found and had dinner. She was given a vape pen with an unknown substance.
Detectives then contacted the church camp and found the teen never registered and never attended the church. Friends of the teen told police she’d been communicating with an older man on social media apps.
Authorities searched the vacation rental and found eight rounds of ammunition inside the magazine of a semi-automatic handgun.
Robusto was arrested on charges of false imprisonment of a person against their will, interference with custody of a minor, possession of firearm ammunition or weapon by a U.S. convicted felon, drug paraphernalia and possession of firearm ammunition or weapon by a U.S. felon.
He was taken to Charlotte County Jail, and his bond was set at $325,000.