Missing Dallas teen is found locked in shed 1,000 miles from home after ‘meeting abductor online’

A missing 13-year-old girl from Dallas, Texas was found locked in a shed more than 1,000 miles away in North Carolina after she allegedly met her abductor online.

The girl was found at a Lexington property on Friday, the same day Texas authorities were alerted to her disappearance, WGHP reported.

North Carolina officials on Monday announced the arrest 34-year-old Jorge Camacho, who is accused of grooming the girl after they met online and later in person.

Mr Camacho is alleged to have kidnapped and held her captive for “sexual servitude”.

The suspect faces eight felony charges, which include rape, indecent liberties with a child, and human trafficking.

He’s in jail and his bond has been set at more than $1m.

Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons said at a press briefing that “they discovered that the juvenile had been communicating with an adult male through social media chat platforms. The content of the chat was consistent with grooming and enticement, and he enticed her to leave home where he picked her up in the (Dallas) area”.

The mother of the 13-year-old told WFAA that Mr Camacho and the girl had met while playing an online video game and that they had texted via the app Discord. She said they had spoken for a period of months.

The mother, only named as Esthela, told the local TV station that “it was very stressful and scary. We were hoping to see her again and thank God that was the case”.

Jorge Camacho faces eight felony charges after a 13-year-old girl was found in his shed

(Davidson County Sheriff’s Office / Fox8 WGHP)

Investigators were tipped off of Mr Camacho’s whereabouts on 10 March and a traffic stop was conducted. His vehicle was spotted on surveillance footage filmed near the apartments in Dallas where the girl was kidnapped.

Sheriff Simmons said they located the girl locked in a shed at the North Carolina property. She was taken to hospital and has now returned home.

Others living on the property told the local North Carolina press that Mr Camacho was living in the shed. A bed, a tv, and cabinets could be found inside.

The other residents said they were unaware that there was a girl in the shed, saying that while those who lived there were friends, they weren’t close.

“We’re going to work together, get as much help as we can, and grow stronger,” Esthela told WFAA.

The mother knew about her child’s gaming habits and had her Discord login.

“We knew the risks, and we talked with her about them,” the mother said. “But still this happened, it was something awful.”

“It could have been a lot worse. It could have, and we’re lucky that it wasn’t,” she added.

Mr Camacho reportedly paid the teen to leave her home and he then picked her up in the car, which was registered in Davidson County, according to WBTV.

Sheriff Simmons said parents should monitor their children’s online activity.

“This is becoming a major problem and this is how kids are sold into human trafficking,” he said.

“They’re not being able to be kids,” he added.

Further charges are pending. “This is just the tip of the iceberg, we feel, so we’re still investigating this as well,” Sheriff Simmons said.

Trop Sim, the owner of the North Carolina property, said Mr Camacho didn’t live in the main home but stayed in the shed. She said he was a friend of her son, and she let him stay there because he needed a place to live.

“He live with me two years, he don’t show that he was that kind of person, so I don’t know why he do that,” Ms Sim told WXII12.

Mr Camacho appeared in court on Monday via video call, smiling as the judge read the charges, according to the local TV station. If he’s convicted, he may be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“What we are teaching our kids and our homes, it scares me. It scares me even more so that we have to have classes to teach our kids to be careful with social media,” Sheriff Simmons said, according to WXII12.

“Our message is going to be, please help us out. I’m very thankful. I thank God that we were able to find this young girl. It may not be that case forever, and what these children must go through, they don’t think, who they’re talking to,” he added.

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