Hoffman Estates man accused of luring 11-year-old girl over online game
A suburban man is accused of befriending an 11-year-old girl over the internet and then arranging to meet her.
The Orange County, Florida sheriff calls this a disturbing case. He says the Hoffman Estates man drove more than one thousand miles this weekend to get to the little girl. He is now behind bars and she is reunited with her family.
A man from the northwest suburbs is behind bars in Macon, Georgia. 24-year-old Kohn Byrns is charged with kidnapping a child under the age of 13.
Police say Byrns met an 11-year-old Orlando, Florida girl online while playing Minecraft.
“Within the game you can use a headset to chat with people you're actually playing the game with. We believe that's how the initial contact was made,” said Sergeant Brandon Ragan.
The two stayed in touch, talking over the internet. The Orange County Sheriff says the girl thought she was interacting with someone her own age from Illinois -- as did her parents.
“In this case, this individual on the other end (was an) adult male who is a child sexual predator and that's all of our worst nightmares,” police said.
The sheriff says the girl's parents reported her missing Sunday morning.
“This individual was so convincing he convinced this child to leave her home and meet him in a particular place,” police said.
Deputies called the FBI and they tracked the 11-year-old's cell phone to a Holiday Inn in Macon, Georgia - five hours from home. She was with Byrns, but police would not go into detail about what went on between the two while they were together.
“She's lucky to be alive, she's lucky the circumstances are not any worse than they are,” police said.
The suspect’s Hoffman Estates home now sits quiet, with packages piling up on the front porch.
Neighbors say Byrns lives there with his mom and dad. He attended special education classes growing up and since has kept to himself.
The neighbors we spoke to did not want to go on camera, but did seem shocked to learn the news.
Even more alarming is the Orange County Sheriff says there may be other victims.
Bryns is in custody and more charges may be filed.