Internet Safety For Teens In Spotlight After Girl’s Alleged Kidnapping

PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ) — Disturbing new details about the abduction of a Baltimore County girl. The man accused of kidnapping the 12-year-old is now facing federal charges as a search warrant reveals what led authorities to him.

Meghan McCorkell has the latest on the investigation.

Victor Arroyo was already charged with abduction and rape. Now the feds have charged him with transportation of a minor—which carries a minimum of 10 years behind bars.

In his first court appearance, 34-year-old Victor Arroyo told a judge he didn’t do anything but investigators say one week ago, he approached a 12-year-old girl as she walked to her Baltimore County middle school and forced her inside his car. They say he drive her to his home in North Carolina and sexually assaulted her. The two had allegedly been communicating online.

According to a search warrant obtained by WJZ, the 12-year-old told a friend via Xbox a month ago that she had planned to run away with Arroyo but changed her mind. The alleged victim writes, “im [sic] not going but babe im [sic] scared [sic] he said he was gonna kidnap me.”

The friend responds, “OK but he doesn’t know where you live.”

The 12-year-old writes, “Um yeah–I told him where I live.”

The child admits to her friend that she communicated with Arroyo using the social messaging website Kik, a site she says her parents had forbidden her to use.

“It’s incredibly easy for any child to just download an app on their phone or Xbox or website that we’ve never heard of before,” said Adam Rosenberg, Baltimore Child Abuse Center.

Rosenberg says this incident is a wake up call for parents to talk to kids about internet safety.

“Don’t give our your phone number, your address, your personal information because you could be giving it to anybody,” he said.

The 12-year-old had an iPod Touch with her when she was taken. Investigators were able to use the IP address to track her down and bring her home.

Arroyo faces life in prison. He is currently being held on $1.5 million bond.

Officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say Arroyo was in the country illegally, according to WJZ media partner The Baltimore Sun. In 1999, he returned to Mexico voluntarily after he encountered border patrol, but he came back into the country illegally, an ICE spokesman told the Sun.

A federal complaint against Arroyo has also been filed in Maryland.

Since the kidnapping, officials at Perry Hall Middle School say they will call parents in the morning if their child does not arrive at school.

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