An 82nd Airborne Division soldier has been charged in the kidnapping of a pre-teen girl he had allegedly been speaking to online, the Craven County, North Carolina, sheriff’s office announced in a Monday press conference.
James Murdock Peele, 19, is charged with burglary, kidnapping, statutory rape and other offenses, though sheriff Capt. John Whitfield did not provide a full list.
“There’s probably some maturity factor issues there,” he said of Peele.
The girl was reported missing Sunday morning when her grandmother woke up to find her gone from the home in Carolina Pines.
“They searched the room and found a random note that was left on the pillow, and the window was open,” Whitfield said.
A search of the girl’s Facebook friends led authorities to Peele, he added.
“Now, I will tell you that this case is relevant to internet chat rooms and conversations, and we want to make people specifically aware that you need to try to be on top of what’s going on with your child’s chat information on computers and also cell phones,” he said.
Authorities tracked her to the soldier’s home in the Fayetteville area, according to Whitfield, about two hours away.