EUGENE, Ore. – A kidnapped California girl is safe with the help of the Eugene Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.
A 12-year-old was reported missing on May 2 from her home in Chula Vista in Southern California.
Investigation discovered the victim met a man on the gaming platform Discord and began an online relationship, police said. The man then traveled from Oregon to Chula Vista to meet the girl.
The family told police the girl told them she was going outside to ride her bicycle, but the family later noticed the bike was still at the home and were unable to find the girl, so they contacted police.
Detectives believed the victim and man were headed north on Interstate 5 in the area of Stockton, California. The California Highway Patrol found and stopped the suspect vehicle.
Suspect Darrien Jenkins, 19, was arrested for several sexual-related offenses involving a minor, police said.
Interviews reportedly revealed the girl had been portraying herself to be 19 years old online, police said. She was taken into protective custody.
The investigation is ongoing.