A 26-year-old man arranged to kidnap an 11-year-old girl over Instagram so he could continue an illegal relationship with her, a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
Ronald Greene was arrested Saturday on charges of kidnapping a child under the age of 13, custody interference and luring or enticing a child, an arrest warrant showed.
The girl was reported missing from her home on the 1900 block of West Kelly Park Road in Apopka Saturday afternoon and found that evening, around eight hours after she was last seen, the OCSO spokesperson said.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the girl, and an OCSO release from that evening said investigators suspected she was traveling with Greene.
Greene’s arrest warrant said he met the child and groomed her over Instagram.
He told her he was “risking his life to be with her" and faced serious charges due to her age if they were caught. He told her they would have to “lay low” and conceal the relationship for six or seven years, the warrant said.
Greene said the two would pretend to be uncle and niece in the meantime, telling others Greene gained custody of the girl after her mother passed away. He asked her to pack bags without identifying monograms or information, according to the warrant.
Though the messages had been deleted before detectives saw them, the child’s mother told deputies what she had seen on her daughter’s account, the agency spokesperson said.
A photo posted to the girl’s Instagram account helped deputies identify Greene, the warrant said.
Santa Rosa County deputies and agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found Greene and the girl driving in his car near Destin Saturday evening.
Greene is being held at the Santa Rosa County Jail without bond. He is awaiting a transfer to Orange County, an OCSO spokesperson said.
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