Missing Citrus County child found in North Carolina, father facing child sexual battery charges

Authorities have arrested a Citrus County man in North Carolina, who was wanted for child sexual battery charges.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office arrested Rapheal Malik Akbar Arnold, 32, on a warrant for sexual battery on a child under the age of 12.

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, Arnold was known to be a long-distance truck driver and the United States Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force (CRFTF) received information that he would be traveling through North Carolina.

On July 25, members of the CRFTF and the N.C. Highway Patrol stopped Arnold’s truck and arrested him.

Arnold's 5-year-old child, who had been reported missing from Citrus County, was also located in the truck. The child was safely turned over to the Rutherford County Department of Social Services.

"This case was an excellent example of our partnership and how being on the United States Marshals Service task force increases law enforcement's ability to apprehend fugitives across the country and seek justice for those who cause harm to their citizens," said Marty West, Deputy Commander of the United States Marshals Service - Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Arnold is being held without bond, pending his extradition to Florida.