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Wisconsin man allegedly kidnapped 13-year-old girl after meeting her online and drove her 800 miles away from her home
Image Source: WPLG-TV YouTube video screenshot composite

Wisconsin man allegedly kidnapped 13-year-old girl after meeting her online and drove her 800 miles away from her home

A 13-year-old girl from South Carolina was found 800 miles away from her home with a man that she had met online, according to Florida police.

The girl was reported missing on Sunday from her home in Simpsonville, according to Dep. Jeremy Holt of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. She was last seen at about 8:30 that evening.

On Tuesday, she was found in a Dodge Ram pickup truck at the parking lot of the Pink Plaza shopping center in Key Largo at about 3:30 a.m.

Officials said that 35-year-old Tyler Michael Berlick had driven her from South Carolina to Florida after meeting her on an online chat and gaming app. Police said Berlick first contacted the girl a year prior to the alleged kidnapping when she was about 11 or 12 years old.

“We figured out pretty quickly he’s not her father or a relative,” Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said to the Miami Herald.

They arrested Berlick and charged him with kidnapping. Holt said that he was awaiting extradition to South Carolina while in custody of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Ramsay said that the girl became agitated and threatened to harm herself when officials were arresting Berlick in the parking lot.

“This is probably something that will affect her the rest of her life,” he added.

The girl was placed in child protective services to receive mental health services before she was to be transported back to South Carolina.

Berlick lived in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, which is about 800 miles away from her South Carolina home and about 1,500 miles from Florida.

The girl had been listed as a runaway on the National Crime Information Center before police found her with Berlick.

Experts warn parents that they should monitor their children's activities online to prevent predators from contacting them.

Here's more about the arrest:

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Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Staff Writer

Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News. You can reach him at cgarcia@blazemedia.com.