One man is behind bars in Spartanburg County and a 14-year-old girl is back home with her family in West Virginia.
It took law officers in several states working together to make that happen. Investigators say the suspect and the child messaged on social media.
Spartanburg County deputies say they rescued a West Virginia girl who failed to return home from a mall near her home on Sunday night.
“We had gotten some information through her mother on the possibility that she was with a certain individual and as we started collecting information,” Vienna Police Chief Mike Pifer said. “We thought that these two were traveling somewhere south, possible to a destination in Alabama.”
Chief Pifer says Yashar King kidnapped the teen and was caught when deputies pulled him over on Interstate 85 near Highway 290 in Spartanburg County.
According to law enforcement, the two spent time chatting on social media before meeting at the Grand Central Mall in West Virginia on Saturday night.
Robert Lowery, vice president of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says contact on social media is a growing problem and happens more then parents realize.
“What is the key to this is awareness for your children, that there are those using socila media platforms that mean to harm our kids, they’re looking for girls especially, boys too, but mostly girls for sexually related purposes,” Lowery said.
Agencies from Virgina, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama helped West Virginia law enforcement look out for King’s vehicle.
King was jailed Monday at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
He will be sent back to West Virgina to face an abduction charge, which is a felony. The charge carries a possible sentence of one to 10 years in prison.