A 19-year-old man was arrested after police said he took a 13-year-old girl from Mississippi to Northern Kentucky after they had been communicating online and agreed to try to meet in person.
19-Year-Old Charged With Taking 13-Year-Old From Mississippi To Kentucky
Robin Velasquez-Perez, 19, Is Being Held On A $10,000 Bond For Rape And Other Charges
Robin Velasquez-Perez, 19, is being held on a $10,000 bond for rape, custodial interference, and an immigration-related charge, according to Covington Police Department.
The charges stem from a missing person investigation that started in Ridgeland, Mississippi when the girl's family reported her missing at the end of July. It is unclear whether she had told any of her family or friends that she was planning to meet up with Robin Velasquez-Perez, or if she simply took off with him without telling anyone about their plans.
He Picked A 13-Year-Old Girl Up From Her Home in Ridgeland, Mississippi, And Drove Her To Kentucky
Police said the 13-year-old left her home in Ridgeland, Mississippi, with an unknown man on June 26. They later identified the male suspect as 19-year-old Robin Velasquez-Perez.
Thanks to the teen’s cell phone, Mississippi detectives were able to track her location to Covington, Kentucky, just a few days after the fact, police said.
Police Said Velasquez-Perez Had Family In Kentucky
That’s when the Covington Police Department was called to assist the Ridgeland Police Department with finding the girl and reuniting her with her family, officials said.
The belief, according to police, is that Velasquez-Perez brought the girl to Northern Kentucky because he has family in the area and thought they could get away with staying there more easily. It is unclear whether Velasquez-Perez was living in Mississippi at the end, or whether he drove from Kentucky to meet up with the girl, and then drove her back with him.
Police Found Him At A Home And Arrested Him
Covington police said they found Velasquez-Perez at a home on 15th Street with the young girl. Police did not say who the home belongs to, or if anyone else living there knew that Velasquez-Perez had taken the 13-year-old from her home in Mississippi, or if police were actively looking for them as part of a missing persons case.
The 19-year-old admitted to having sex with the 13-year-old, according to police. Investigators did not say how or when Velasquez-Perez and the teen started communicating, or if she knew how much older he was than her. The incident raises concerns about the use of social media and the access adults can get to children without their family members even being aware of what is occurring.
Police Used Cell Phone Data To Track Down The Girl
Technology played a huge role in this case and making sure the young girl was found quickly and before something even more serious happened to her.
While less advanced or older phones usually give a general area, newer phones can give an exact location, according to Covington Police Department lieutenant colonel Brian Valenti. Police then use that information to track down a person or at least identify the general area where they have been spending time and perhaps were spotted by people in public who can then share information with the police.
"We get missing persons reports on a regular basis," Valenti told Fox News. "Many times, they are local and stay local. Sometimes, they wind up crossing state lines."
Police say it appears the two were communicating online for some time before they made the decision to meet in person.
Booked into the Kenton County Jail in Covington, Velasquez-Perez was charged with custodial interference and second-degree rape, and his bond was set at $10,000. He is also facing an immigration charge. Police did not say where Velasquez-Perez immigrated from.