Missing 12-Year-Old Girl Found In Louisiana
Girl Vanished Two Weeks Ago

UPDATED: 11:10 AM CDT April 18, 2004

MOBILE, Ala. -- A 12-year-old Mobile girl who had been missing for two weeks was found alive in a hotel room in Slidell, La., on Saturday.

She was sitting on a bed as the 52-year-old man that she had met over the Internet attempted suicide, according to Slidell police.

Mobile police have charged the man -- identified as William Villar of Mobile -- with rape and enticing a child for immoral purposes, said Officer Eric Gallichant.

The girl was not forced to go or have sex with Villar, police said. But she also was not old enough to grant consent, according to Alabama law, which sets that age at 16.

Mobile police is working with the FBI to determine whether any federal laws have been violated since the girl met Villar on the Internet, and he allegedly drove her across state lines, Gallichant said.

On Friday, Mobile Police notified the Slidell authorities that Villar and the girl were likely in the area. A Slidell police officer found Villar's van in the parking lot of a Motel 6 off Interstate 10 early Saturday morning, said Lt. Kevin Dupuy, Slidell Police spokesman.

Police surrounded the building after no one answered the knock at their hotel room door, Dupuy said.

Meanwhile, Villar called his son, who lives in Mobile County, to tell him what was happening, Dupuy said, including that Villar had slit his wrist after police arrived. The son then contacted Mobile police, who notified Slidell authorities.

Concerned especially for the girl's safety, Dupuy said, the officers broke open the door. Villar was treated for his wrist injury and arrested.

The girl was returned to her west Mobile home Saturday afternoon to balloons, a "Welcome Home" banner and a pizza party.

"Oh, we're happy, happy relieved," said the grandmother with whom the girl lives. "Just knowing that she was OK was all we needed."

The grandmother said Saturday that the family had not yet talked to the girl about what happened.

Villar was also charged by Slidell Police with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He is being held in jail there on a $200,000 bond as he awaits extradition to Mobile, Dupuy said.

An arrest warrant has been issued in Mobile County on the rape and enticing charges, Gallichant said.

The girl had been missing since April 6, but police did not issue an Amber Alert because she was suspected of being a runaway, her grandmother said.

Police had confiscated the girl's personal computer to try and determine if she had been in contact with anyone over the Internet.

Gallichant said investigators are trying to determine how long Villar and the girl had been communicating on the Internet before they met in person.
Copyright 2004 by NBC13.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



www.nbc13.com/news/3016230/detail.html