A missing 12-year-old girl from Cornelia was located and is safe in Palm Beach County, Florida with local authorities.
The child’s family told authorities they believed she had run a routine errand Tuesday morning, but she never returned home.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, agents and investigators learned that the missing child likely left her home to meet a man authorities say she met online. The man, later identified as Martin Francisco-Tomas, is believed to be about 20 years old. Authorities say he allegedly traveled to Cornelia and took the child with him to Palm Beach County, Florida.
With the dedicated assistance of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the information learned by investigators, Francisco-Tomas was located with the child at a residence in Palm Beach County Florida and is now in custody.
Francisco-Tomas is in custody on Georgia warrants for Interstate Interference with Custody. Tomas is pending extradition back to Georgia to face charges. According to the GBI, Additional charges are expected.
The investigation is still active and ongoing. Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be provided to the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution.