(La Porte County, IN) - A La Porte County Police officer is being credited with keeping a girl and a man she was talking to on the internet from potential harm.
According to police, a 14-year old girl last month sneaked out of her home after midnight.
She was found a few hours later in a car pulled over for a traffic violation on U.S 6 by Deputy Michael Sweet near Union Mills.
Sheriff John Boyd said the deputy felt something wasn’t quite right and began looking deeper into the situation.
The officer wound up safely returning the girl to her parents.
Boyd said the investigation showed the driver of the car was a man about 30 who drove from Valparaiso to meet the female he had been chatting with online.
Boyd said the man was allowed to go because there was no evidence of any physical contact between them and it appeared from the investigation he was mislead by the girl about her age.
“Because she had no identification and, perhaps, she looked older than what she was there were no indicators that she was in fact underage,” he said.
Boyd said the incident should serve as a warning to parents, children and others about the grave risks involved in talking to strangers online.
The girl could have wound up in extreme danger or the man jailed for acting on his assumptions that she was of legal age, he said.