The victim ran straight into the deputy's arms and gave him a hug.
We've gotten to a place where we find it simply impossible to live without the Internet; we use it for the smallest of things now. But, the internet also has a dark side to it. It is filled with strangers who enjoy luring unsuspecting people into unfamiliar situations by pretending to be someone they're not. You meet a lot of strangers online and you can't really understand their character from behind a screen, can you?
Recently, a Florida Sherrif Deputy rescued a 13-year-old girl from a "dark motel room" after she went there with a 22-year-old man she met online on Monday, 22nd Feb, according to Fox News. The Volusia Sherriff’s Office received a missing child report on 18th February around 6:15pm. The teen's grandmother told the cops that the girl hadn't come back home from school that day.
A deputy with @VolusiaSheriff went from motel to motel looking for a 13-year-old girl who met up with a 22-year-old man she met online. She ran to the deputy & hugged him when he found her. The suspect has bonded out of jail. #FOX35 @fox35orlando https://t.co/k1Xwr5YvTr— Amy Kaufeldt FOX 35 (@Fox35Amy) February 22, 2021
The Oak Hill resident didn't make it to her school's basketball game either, the Sheriff's office revealed via a Facebook post. Deputy Royce James' efforts in tracking her down were clearly visible from the compilation of bodycam footage. The deputy first spoke to one of the teen’s friends, who said "the victim was planning on going to a motel with someone she met online," the post states.
The friend told Deputy James she believed his name is Tyler, or something else that probably started with a T, and added she thought the man, who she believed was from Orlando, would be picking up the victim from an Oak Hill dollar store, police said. The deputy then went to the store and he spotted the teen on their surveillance footage. An employee there told him she "said she was waiting for someone to pick her up," police said.
Then, he went from one motel to the next, asking people at the reception if they'd seen the girl from the photo he showed them. "At the third motel he checked, Deputy James noticed a guest checked in under the name Tyler Thompson, with an address out of Orlando," the post states. "Deputies went to his room and knocked on the door several times before Thompson finally answered, and the victim came running."
The way the officer did his duty in searching multiple places for this girl 😭 so many sick people preying on young children is sickening— Galle (@Sharle_21) February 22, 2021
The sheriff’s office said deputies knocked on the suspected offender’s room at the All Suite Motel in Edgewater, Florida, "several times" before getting a response. A shirtless man opened the door to a dark room as the deputy announced himself and ordered Thompson to sit on the couch. James then asked the man where the young girl was, and he replied, "She's inside."
According to Click Orlando, the victim ran straight into the Deputy's arms and gave him a hug. She also asked for him to stay with her while she was interviewed, said the sheriff’s office.
Deputy Royce James said that he was thankful he was able to locate the girl. “Soon as she heard me mention her name, she looked out from the bedroom, saw I was a deputy, and came running to me and jump into my arms,” James said. “She was quite frankly terrified and was happy I was there to get her out of that situation.”
Deputy James said he was in quite a tricky situation there because he was unsure how Thompson was going to react. “I had a lot of emotions running to me. I had a lot of happiness I found her. An extreme amount of anger for him, I must admit. Also, I have her in my left arm. I don’t know if he is going to fight.” James said. The deputy, however, is simply glad he could get her out of that situation. “The way the situation could have been worse is almost limitless,” James said.
The 13-year-old was medically cleared and interviewed at the Department of Children and Families before she was returned home.
Thompson, however, faces charges from both the sheriff’s office and Edgewater police. He has been charged with interference with child custody and traveling to meet a minor after using a computer to lure a child. The Sheriff's office added that additional charges are pending. Thompson has since been released from the Volusia County Branch Jail Friday after posting $15,000 bail.
Cover image source: Facebook/Volusia Sheriff's Office