Missing Pennsylvania Teen Found in D.C. With Man She Met Online

Girl was returned to her family early Wednesday morning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 13-year-old girl who went missing from Pennsylvania was found in D.C. Tuesday night with a man she met online.

    The girl was missing for a little more than 24 hours.

    She was returned to her family early Wednesday morning after being evaluated in a Montgomery County hospital. She then went to Bryn Mawr Hospital to be examined again.

    Ashley Hareford, 20, the man she was found with, was arrested on the spot and is set to be in court Wednesday.

    "Anytime you have a 20-year-old pursuing a 13-year-old on the Internet, that individual is a predator, period, end of story," said Radnor Township, Pa., Police Chief Bill Colarulo.

    Radnor Police say they received an anonymous tip sometime between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Tuesday that the duo was spotted near Philadelphia's 30th Street Station -- possibly headed toward D.C. on a Megabus.

    U.S. marshals awaited their arrival at Union Station, and around 7 p.m., they arrested Hareford without incident and took the teen for a medical examination.

    "Our top priority is to make sure that she is in good mental and physical condition," said Radnor Police Lt. Chris Flanagan on Tuesday night.

    Officials tell Philadelphia's NBC10 that Hareford was seen standing outside the teen's Radnor Township home on Sunday. Police say he looked suspicious and they stopped him while he was on foot to question him. However, after he was questioned, they let him go because they could not find a reason to hold him.

    Police say the girl left her home around 4 p.m. Monday. Her father told police his daughter met Hareford online and had conversations with him. 

    "We are assuming that based on some of the circumstances that she is currently with Mr. Hareford," said Flanagan after the tip was reported. "We have grave concern for her safety."

    Investigators said they discovered an “inappropriate” picture in their online interaction, although it was not pornographic. Police then issued a warrant for Hareford's arrest.

    Hareford, who hails from Grottoes, Va., which is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive southwest of the District, will be arraigned here on a corruption of a minor charge. He is then expected to be brought back to Pennsylvania for that charge.

    He could also face other charges, police said.

    Police are not calling the incident an abduction but aren't classifying it as a runaway case.