The 12 -year-old Wakulla County girl identified in police reports as BNS snuck out of her home late Saturday night. Surveillance cameras at the Greyhound bus station in Tallahassee show her in the company of 31-year-old known sex offender Raymond Lewis.
The two were found outside Atlanta Wednesday morning. The family is still in shock; friends say they are also relieved.
Laura McDonald, a family friend, says, "All we know is that she has been found and we are very thankful to everybody for helping out. Everybody’s thrilled."
Lewis worked for the girl's father and was befriended by the family. Police say they found letters and e-mails to and from the girl.
MAJ Maurice Langston with the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office says, "This is considered by law enforcement as a compliant victim, she has been groomed, she has been prepared for this move over a period of time."
An Amber Alert broadcast on television resulted in a tip to the FBI, and that lead to the arrest. This is a story with a happy ending because everything worked the way it’s supposed to work.
Lewis is still on probation for a 1999 charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a child. State records show his probation was violated twice and each time he was sent to county jail.
Sterling Ivey with the Department of Corrections says, "We verified several residences that he could live at and several residences that were close to bus stops or areas where children hang out and we did not allow them to live in those places."
Lewis faces charges of transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.