Missing teen discovered in criminal’s rental home

·2 min read
A missing teenager from Dilley, Texas was found in an armed criminal's vacation rental home in Florida, where she was being held against her will.  (Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office / Google)
A missing teenager from Dilley, Texas was found in an armed criminal's vacation rental home in Florida, where she was being held against her will. (Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office / Google)

A missing teenager from Dilley, Texas was found in an armed criminal’s vacation rental home in Florida, where she was being held against her will. 

A 38-year-old felon from Georgia, Vincent Joseph Robusto, was arrested on Friday in Port Charlotte, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. 

The 15-year-old girl he had trapped had told her parents that she was going to an all-inclusive church retreat in the Sunshine State. The parents contacted the police after not hearing from their daughter for several days. 

The Sheriff’s Office said police used the teenager’s cell phone to locate her at the rented vacation home and notified Charlotte County deputies. 

When law enforcement officials arrived at the home and made their presence known, they saw a man run into a back room after they knocked on the door. Authorities said he refused to open the door and didn’t acknowledge the officers being there. 

“Deputies identified the owner of the white Buick in the driveway as a Georgia resident,” the Charlotte County Sheriff’s department said.

Deputies contacted the owner of the rental home, who managed to get Robusto to agree to come to the front door with the teenager. 

Robusto was taken into custody and a search of the home resulted in a semi-automatic handgun being found along with eight rounds of ammunition in the magazine. 

The teenager told the deputies that she had tried to open the door, but was being held back and told to be quiet by Robusto. 

She said she had exited a plane in Fort Myers and was walking down a street when she was greeted by Robusto. He took her back to the rental home where they ate dinner and he gave her a “vape pen with an unknown substance”, the sheriff’s office said. 

As the investigation went on, detectives from Major Crimes contacted the church camp that the teenager said she was attending and were informed that not only was the teen not registered for the camp, she “had never attended their church”. 

Through friends of the teenager, authorities discovered that she had been in contact with an older man on social media. 

Robusto was arrested on five charges – false imprisonment of a person against their will, interference with custody of a minor, two counts of possession of firearm ammunition or weapon by a convicted felon, and delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor. 

He was sent to the Charlotte County Jail, and his bond was set at $325,000. The Florida Department of Children and Families cooperated with Texas authorities to reunite the teenager with her parents. 

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