NBC10, Jesse Gary
The process to extradite 20-year-old Ashley Hareford, the man police say met a 13-year-old girl online, came to visit her and traveled across state lines with her.
After a little more than 24 hours, the Delaware County teenage girl who went missing with a Virginia man she met online was found with that man in Washington, D.C.
The 13-year-old victim was found safe Tuesday night and was returned to her family early Wednesday morning. Her father escorted her to a Montgomery County Hospital for a medical examination. She was then transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. No word on what prompted the transfer.
Ashley Hareford, 20, the man she was found with, was arrested on the spot. He is being held on one count of corrupting a minor and Delaware County has already begun extradition proceedings, which will take about five days, according to police.
"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 Police Chief Bill Colarulo.
Radnor Police say they received an anonymous tip sometime between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Tuesday that the duo were spotted in the 30th Street Station area -- possibly headed toward Washington on a Megabus.
U.S. marshals awaited their arrival at Union Station in Washington, 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.
After a brief evaluation, Radnor Police, who were called to the scene, took her home from D.C.
Officials tell 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 said early Tuesday. "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 Washington, will be arraigned in Washington on a corruption of a minor charge and is 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.