HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) — A Hartford teenager went missing for two weeks and was found nearly 2,000 miles away from her home, in Colorado.
According to the Longmont Police Department, the 14-year-old was found Wednesday afternoon in an apartment. She was safe and in good condition, officials said.
A few hours later, police arrested 53-year-old Timothy Wind in connection with her disappearance. Longmont police have charged Wind with second-degree kidnapping and Internet exploitation.
Police believe Wind traveled to Connecticut and then returned to Longmont with the girl. However, police have not said if she had willingly gone with Wind or if she was forced.
Police said Wind and the girl met on a website called “Pixie Hollow,” which is a Disney-owned website.
Her parents are in Colorado now to bring her home.
Wind is being held on a $100,000 bond, and allegedly took the teen on a “honeymoon,” by stopping in New York, New Jersey and Kansas before returning to Colorado.
David Duverger is a co-worker of the teen’s mother at the South Park Inn, a homeless shelter in Hartford.
“I was here just every other day trying to see what I could do to help out. I just couldn’t imagine how she was going through this, couldn’t imagine,” Duverger said.
As social workers, they both spend their lives helping others, and this week, Jeanette Oquendo turned to the community instead, asking for prayers to get the girl back.
“Her whole family loves her and we want her back, and if there’s any problem that she’s going through or anything, we can, as a family, solve and overcome together. Our family is incomplete without our daughter,” Oquendo said.
The teen attends the Two Rivers Magnet School and sings in the choir, but her family said she had recently been going through a tough time at school.
“Now that [the girl] has been found, we are in the phase of recovery. Recovering our families, where parents and children are more deeply connected so children are not in a position for a stranger to gain access to our most precious resources,” said Mayra Esquilin, of Hartford Areas Rally Together.
The case remains under investigation by the Longmont Police Department, the Hartford Police Department, the FBI, the Connecticut State Police and the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.
“Parents need to be extra vigilant in watching who these people are, not to give away clues as to your age, sex, location. These things should not be given away and children should be monitored when they’re on the Internet,” said Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.
Boulder County Housing and Human Services is caring for the teen and working to reunite her with her family.