VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WJW) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy is seen on video rescuing a missing 13-year-old girl he found in a motel room with a 22-year-old man she met online.
According to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office, she was reported missing 6:15 p.m. Thursday when her grandmother said she didn’t come home and didn’t attend a basketball game after school.
Deputy Royce James began the investigation, speaking with a friend of the girl’s, who said she planned to go to a motel with someone she met online. The friend said the man may have picked up her friend at a Dollar General nearby.
After checking the store’s surveillance video and seeing the girl on it, James began visiting area motels, showing clerks the girl’s photo. At the third motel, the deputy was able to track down the suspect.
He went to the suspect’s room and knocked on the door several times before Tyler Thompson, 22, answered the door. The victim ran into the deputy’s arms and gave him a hug.
The girl was taken to be medically cleared and interviewed and went to a local Department of Children and Families facility for evaluation. She was then returned to her home.
Thompson was arrested with interference with child custody and traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child. Additional charges are pending. He was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail Friday after posting $15,000 bond.