BEMIDJI, Minn. - A 13-year-old reported as missing is safe at home with her family Wednesday, and a man she allegedly met through social media is behind bars.
Beltrami County Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel says the situation came onto their radar screen when a parent of the girl called Tuesday morning to report her missing. The parent couldn't find the girl when it came time to transport her to school, and it was discovered she did not take the bus or report to school.
Investigators spoke with a neighbor who had seen someone standing in the woods near the girl's home two days earlier, confronted the person, and noted the type of vehicle and license plate. Authorities soon identified the suspect as a 21-year-old man from Oswego, Illinois, who had made contact with the girl on social media.
Believing that the two had traveled to the Twin Cities, Beltrami County authorities reached out to police in Bloomington and Minneapolis, and the two were soon located in Minneapolis.
The suspect was arrested and transported back to Bemidji, where he is being held on probable cause criminal sexual conduct and deprivation of parental rights.