ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WUSA) - A possible child abduction was averted last week thanks in part to a tip to a school counselor from an anonymous source.
The tip enabled authorities to cooperate in locating an adult male in his 20s who had led a 12-year-old girl to believe he was a teenager in Tennessee, according to Anne Arundel County Police.
An Anne Arundel County Public Schools counselor received information on Sept 6 that a 12-year-old middle school student planned to run away from her home the following day. The details included the girl's plan to meet her teenage boyfriend before school on September 7, when the pair would drive in a stolen vehicle to the boyfriend's Tennessee home.
The school's assistant principal and school resource officer, when informed of the girl's plans, contacted the girl's guardian for permission to talk with the student as well as gain access to her social media and cell phone data. The school resource officer discovered that the boyfriend had misrepresented his own age and was aware that the girl was a 12-year-old. A District Detective was contacted and officers obtained more information about the suspect from cell phone records. They contacted Tennessee authorities for support.
Tennessee officials made contact with the 25-year-old male, confirming that he had been communicating with the 12-year-old girl. They also found images of child pornography, and the are continuing to investigate his possession of these images, police said.
Although no crime was committed in Maryland, the potentially dangerous situation was averted, said police. The female student and her family were offered psychological crisis counseling,
Police said that no additional details will be released about the suspect, and to protect the privacy of the student and the person who spoke out on her behalf, nodetails will be released about the school she attends or the school authorities who investigated the case.
The above information was all provided by Anne Arundel County School officials and Anne Arundel County Police.