She was last seen at River Ridge Middle School in New Port Richey. An AMBER alert was issued when she went missing.
Trigger warning: This article has some details of child sexual abuse and grooming which some readers might find disturbing.
There are many people who have been trying to take advantage of young children and kidnap them. There have been multiple cases of child abduction by perverts across the country. Recently, an 11-year-old girl, who had gone missing in Tampa, Florida, was found at the home of a man, who was later arrested on multiple charges, including child sexual abuse, as per Tampa Bay Times.
The AMBER alert had been issued on April 12, 2021, for the missing 11-year-old. She was last seen at River Ridge Middle School in New Port Richey. The AMBER alert was canceled the next day when she was found. Investigators had also located a video that showed the girl at about 12:20 pm inside a 7-Eleven store at 8018 Moon Lake Road.
She left the store and got inside a dark four-door Hyundai with two males, who were later identified as Reginald Clark, 19, of Jacksonville, and a 17-year-old from Clearwater, investigators said. Another man was involved in the abduction of the 11-year-old girl, who was found at the Tampa home of Luis Alberto Encarnacion, 22. The girl had been groomed to think that Luis was her boyfriend, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office told the Tampa Bay Times. They had met through social media.
"This 22-year-old acted like a predator on this little child,” Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news conference. "This is something that’s societal, we have to fight against this where adults go after these young kids," he added.
"There is no logical sense for a 22-year-old man to be with an 11-year-old child unless there was horrific things that were going to go on in that place," the sheriff said, as per FOX13. "In her mind, she thought Luis was her boyfriend. We all know that’s not real...what’s real is Luis acted like a predator," he added.
He was charged with concealing the location of a minor, unlawful use of a communication device, lewd or lascivious battery, and sexual battery. The 22-year-old man admitted to the charges when he was being questioned by HCSO detectives.
The Sheriff's Office said that they were working with those who could get the girl resources to address the trauma she experienced. Her name and photo were made public by the sheriff’s office when she was still missing.
She was found after detectives were able to locate Reginald and the 17-year-old. They had taken her to another location in Hillsborough County. The 11-year-old was not with them when the men were found. They were both arrested for interfering with child custody. The Sheriff's Office was also trying to figure out if they were linked to the 22-year-old man. "This doesn’t appear to be the first time that these two have linked up," said the sheriff.
The girl was in the custody of the sheriff's office and not living with relatives. "Her mom is in county jail. Her dad is nowhere in the picture. She has gone from one adverse childhood experience to another," said the sheriff. "She is looking for that stability…that caring nature that most kids are given in life," he added.
Cover image (representational): Getty Images | Photo by bymuratdeniz