Missing girl, 13, from Florida found in Van Buren County, suspect arrested


By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

A 13-year-old girl who was reported missing in Polk County, Florida on Thursday, July 9, was found in Van Buren County, Mich., and her suspected kidnapper was arrested.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and found the victim at a home in the 66000 block of 48th Avenue in Hartford Township, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at ABC 57.

Aurelio Hernandez-Gomez, 23, of Chiapas, Mexico, was also found there.

Hernandez-Gomez is suspected of sexually assaulting the girl while at the home. He told deputies that he entered the United States illegally, ABC 57 reported.

Hernandez-Gomez was arrested and taken to the Van Buren County Jail. He was arraigned Friday, July 10, on criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping charges.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was also contacted.

Children’s Protective Services in Michigan took custody of the girl. Arrangements are being made to reunite the victim with her parents in Florida.

Investigators are asking anyone with additional information to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, at 269-657-3101.