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A Florida sheriff’s deputy found a missing 13-year-old girl with a man in a motel room after searching motels using clues and tips he picked up during his investigation.
Volusia County deputy Royce James’ bodycam footage shows how he went from motel to motel for days asking about the missing girl based on tips he received from her family and friends.
Deputy Royce James spoke to a friend of the missing girl, who said the 13-year-old was planning on going to a motel with someone she met online.
The girl’s friend said the man might have picked up the 13-year-old at a Dollar General store in Oak Hill.
The friend told James that she thought the man’s name started with a T, possibly Tyler, and that he was from Orlando.
James went to the Dollar General to look for security video and found surveillance images of the girl at the store, according to the sheriff’s office. An employee reported that the girl said she was waiting for someone to pick her up.
James then began to visit motels in the area, showing the front desk clerks a photo of the missing girl and searching the day’s check-ins for a match, deputies said.
At the third motel, James noticed a name that matched the information he received about the suspect; a Tyler Thompson from Orlando was staying there.
When James knocked on his door several times, Thompson answered.
Footage shows a young girl running from another room into the deputy’s arms and giving him a hug. She appeared uninjured but said her stomach hurt.
“You f**ked up,” the deputy told the suspect, 22-year-old Thompson.
Thompson was taken into custody on a charge of interference with child custody, according to the Edgewater Police Department.
James took the girl to a local Department of Children and Families facility for evaluation and then took her home, according to WFTV.
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