MANCHESTER — A man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in Ontario County was arraigned in Manchester Town Court on Tuesday.
Carlos Vail-Mateo, 24, was extradited back to Ontario County last week from Georgia where he and the girl were picked up by police. The car they were in was spotted on Interstate 95 in Woodbine, Georgia, just north of the Florida state line.
"It was truly through the efforts of information gathered here and shared with the Georgia authorities that led to the apprehension of their vehicle," Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said.
According to the criminal complaint, Vail-Mateo picked the child up at around 9 p.m. on Dec. 12. He allegedly drove up from his home in Ruskin, Florida, near Tampa. The sheriff says the girl went willingly. It appears Vail-Mateo knew the family and the girl told police he was her boyfriend, despite their age difference. Family learned of her disappearance when they were notified by her school that she hadn't shown up the next morning.
"There came a time when the school realized she was not present and again, it was through their diligence and their attentiveness that they brought this to our attention," Povero said.
Authorities say the two were tracked through their cell phone as their signals relayed from cell towers along the route. According to the police report from Georgia, Vail-Mateo told police he and the girl had been involved for eight months and had a sexual relationship. The felony complaint says she was kidnapped with the intent to sexually abuse her.
"Parents need, again, to try the best they can to know where their children are, to know who they're with, to know who they are associating with," Povero said.
Vail-Mateo was also cited in Georgia with driving without a valid license. He's now being held in the Ontario County Jail without bail on the kidnapping charge. But the sheriff says the investigation is not over — and in light of the mention of the sexual contact between the two, additional charges are certainly possible when this case goes to a grand jury.