A Virginia truck driver was arrested after a 15-year-old reported missing nearly one year ago was found during a background check in New England.
David Romero Reyes, 50, of Stafford, was charged with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity after attempting to enter the Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island, the Newport Daily News reports.
A background check showed Reyes was wanted in Texas for sexual assault of a child and the victim, initially reported missing from Virginia in July 2020 at the age of 14, was discovered in the sleeping compartment of the truck by Naval Station Newport Police.
The victim was taken to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence for a medical examination and doctors determined she was five months pregnant, a criminal complaint filed against Reyes in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island confirmed via the Newport Daily News reports.
A press release obtained by the Newport Daily News reveals the victim entered the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor in February 2020 and was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, before being placed in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services facility.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services documents found in the teen's possession showed she was removed from a Houston, Texas immigration detention facility by Reyes, who was identified as a "distant relative," a criminal complaint obtained by the Newport Daily News stated.
A joint investigation by the FBI and Rhode Island State Police revealed Reyes is a long-time friend of the victim's father, who lives in El Salvador, and a distant cousin, according to a press release obtained by the Newport Daily News.
The girl was listed as living in Houston with her mother and other relatives after leaving the immigration detention center, but eventually left with Reyes to live with his relative in Virginia.
The victim's family reported her missing after it was alleged that Reyes sexually assaulted the girl, a family member told law enforcement.
A court appearance was held virtually and an interpreter was used to translate proceedings to Spanish for Reyes. A preliminary hearing is set to be held on April 28.
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