FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A 12-year-old girl who allegedly left her North Carolina home earlier this week with a 38-year-old man planned to marry her accused abductor, according to documents filed by the FBI in Florida.
The girl, from Carteret County, was found by police Wednesday night in Broward County (Fla.), in a car driven by Timothy Howard Newman.
Newman, a registered sex offender in North Carolina, has been charged with child abduction by authorities in Florida.
(The Observer has stopped using the girls name, because she is an alleged victim of sexual abuse.)
According to FBI documents filed in Florida, the girl and Newman began communicating with one another in June and started a sexual relationship in July. The girls father, who once lived in Hickory and has relatives still living in Catawba County, told reporters this week that he had ordered Newman to stop communicating with his daughter.
The 12-year-old girl was reported missing Monday morning and was last seen at the Carteret County home she shared with her father late Sunday night. Witnesses reported seeing the girl and a man fitting Newmans description in a car, crossing the border from North Carolina to South Carolina early Monday.
Authorities in Florida say they traced Newman and the girl to the Fort Lauderdale area after they tried using a debit card that was stolen from the girls father last weekend.
According to the FBI documents, Newman was a friend of the girls family.
He admitted that he began a relationship with (girls name) approximately two months ago, but he had actually known (girls name) since she was 5 years old, according to the FBI paperwork.
Federal prosecutors say the two communicated with one another with text messages, phone calls and visits. The government says the two even began using nicknames for one another, to avoid detection. The girls nickname was Ocean, while Newmans was Monkey, the FBI said.
A neighbor told WBTW-TV in Florence, S.C., that she saw the girl and Newman meet several times at a Dollar General store not far from the familys house.
The girls father told reporters earlier this week that the girls mother died several months ago.
The government alleges that after the girl and Newman began their relations, they decided to leave North Carolina and get married.
The N.C. Sex Offender Registry shows Newman was convicted in 2004 of two counts of sexual offense. Records show he served 27 months in prison and then was on probation for three years.
The girl and her alleged abductor are being held in Florida, but the girls father told reporters Thursday night that he expects his daughter to be flown back home sometime Saturday.
The Associated Press and WBTW contributed