Richmond man charged in child kidnapping case

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A Richmond man is behind bars, accused of going to Massachusetts to abduct a 12-year-old girl.

Detectives say it started over the internet, and they say this is not the first time this man has reached out to a young girl.

Detectives say 32-year-old Daniel O'Brien had been in contact with several children around the country.

Police say he was not only planning to help the 12 year old run-away, they say he was going to bring her back to Virginia to sexually molest her.

O'Brien pleaded not guilty in a Littleton, Mass., courtroom today. But Littleton detectives say over the weekend he told them a much different story.

"He was not just coming up here to help her runaway," said. Lt. Matt King of the Littleton police department. "That he had intentions of both taking photos her and posting them on the web and also some sexual intentions with this young girl."

Police say he met her online in a chat room several months ago. She was asking for help to run away.

Detectives said he emailed with her for several weeks from his mother's apartment on Chamberlayne Avenue. That home was searched by the FBI over the weekend.

Police say O'Brien boarded a bus in Richmond Friday morning and headed to Boston. From there he took a train to Concord, Mass.

The girl's parents grew suspicious Friday morning when they found her bookbag packed with clothes. They read her emails and called police.

"He actually had a ticket for the girl with her first name and his last name on the train ticket for a return ticket," Lt. King said.

O'Brien is being held on $50,000 bail.  The 12-year-old may not have been the only target -- prosecutors say O'Brien had plans to meet another juvenile on Friday.

Police say in his apartment on his computer they found emails to other juveniles in Tennessee, Florida and New York.

"Matter of fact, he was in correspondence with one juvenile out of New York and actually told that juvenile that he'd be in New York on the 20th which would have been the day after he met with this girl here," Lt. King said.

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