LONGMONT, Colo. (WTNH/AP) — A 14-year-old Connecticut girl missing since last month has been found in Colorado, and the man suspected of kidnapping her after months of online chatting is under arrest, police said Thursday.
Acting on a tip from the FBI, police in Longmont say they found the girl in an apartment Wednesday afternoon. They arrested 53-year-old Timothy Wind on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping, Internet exploitation, child enticement and sexual assault on a child. He was being held in the Boulder County Jail and it wasn’t clear if he had a lawyer.
Cmdr. Jeff Satur said Wind traveled nearly 4,000 miles from Longmont to Hartford and back with the girl, who News 8 is not identifying because she’s the victim of an alleged sexual assault. News 8 has learned that the two met online on the Disney website Pixie Hollow, as well as an adult site called tumblr.com. They had been communicating for a while before he picked her up on Aug. 25. That was when her family says she asked for permission to go outside.
“This is just another thing on the internet. You have to be careful this is our children,” said Dep. Chief Brian Foley, Hartford Police.
The girl told a child advocate that she met Wind about two years ago through a website and became friends, according to his arrest affidavit. She said she and Wind planned to leave Connecticut in March but decided August was better. While en route to Colorado, the girl said, Wind took her to several places “as if they were on a honeymoon,” including the place where his parents first met, the affidavit says. The drive took about six days.
The girl said she and Wind had slept together but denied having sex with him, the report says. An FBI agent later found a poem, believed to have been written by the girl, professing her love for Wind. It was saved on a computer along with pornographic images of an older white man, the affidavit said.
“If somebody wants to get in and find you, convince you to come and join them or meet them, they will go anywhere, and to any length,” said Professor Marialice Curran, University of St. Joseph.
Professor Marialice Curran teaches digital citizenship and internet safety at university of St. Joseph.
“The most important thing is that this can happen any time, any place, anywhere, on any site,” said Curran.
News 8 caught up with Professor Curran at a lecture on internet safety, on privacy settings and giving out too much personal information. She says parents need to know that this is not just one conversation.
“The devices have to be in a central location, there is no reason to have a device by your bed because it’s an alarm clock,” said Curan.
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