Florida deputy rescues girl, 13, found in motel room with man she met online

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida deputy is credited with rescuing a 13-year-old girl who was reported missing, after finding the teen in a motel room with a 22-year-old man she met online, authorities said.

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Tyler Thompson, 22, was charged with interference with child custody, with the Edgewater Police Department adding a charge of traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child, according to a news release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional charges are pending, the sheriff’s office said.

Thompson was released after posting $15,000 bail, the release said.

Deputies from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a missing child report at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday after the girl’s grandmother said the Oak Hill teen had not come home and did not go to her basketball game after school.

Deputy Royce James spoke to a friend of the teen, who said she was planning to go to a motel with someone she met online, possibly named Tyler and from Orlando, the news release said. The friend said the girl may have been picked up at a Dollar General store in Oak Hill.

After viewing surveillance video, James identified the victim at the store, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy then began canvassing area motels and checked registers.

At the All Suite Motel in Edgewater, James noticed that Thompson had checked in and listed Orlando as his residence.

James went to Thompson’s room and knocked on the door several times. When Thompson answered, the victim came running and hugged the deputy, according to the news release.

James took the girl to a local Department of Children and Families facility for evaluation and then took her home, the sheriff’s office said.

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