Pair had met on the Internet; Woodinville 15-year-old was driving suspect's car.
A 23-year-old Louisiana man was being held in the Grant County Jail under charges of second-degree kidnapping for allegedly picking up a 15-year-old Woodinville girl he met on the Internet and trying to take her back to his home state.
Justin Pate, of Baton Rouge, and the girl were stopped Sunday for speeding on Interstate 90 near Moses Lake, just hours after the girl left home, police said. The girl was driving Pate’s car.
Bail was set yesterday at $100,000. If convicted, Pate would likely face six to 12 months in jail, county prosecutors said.
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The girl was unharmed and is staying with her grandmother in Eastern Washington, her mother said. The Seattle Times is not publishing the girl’s name because she is a minor.
She met Pate last month on a Web site for online journals, her mother said.
After getting a $300 cellphone bill three weeks ago, the girl’s mother e-mailed the man and told him to stop contacting her daughter. She also grounded her daughter for two weeks and took away her phone.
“I thought I did everything I could,” the girl’s mother said yesterday.
The girl may have resumed contact with Pate after she got her phone back a week ago, her mother said.
A State Patrol trooper pulled over Pate’s sedan about 9 a.m. Sunday. The girl does not have a driver’s license or learner’s permit, police said. The trooper was suspicious because the girl gave the trooper a fake name, had no identification, and was driving a car registered to Pate, said Rich Magnussen, a State Patrol spokesman.
The girl’s mother said she didn’t know her daughter had disappeared.
Detectives were called to the scene and eventually learned the girl intended to run away and live with Pate in Baton Rouge, Magnussen said.
Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or firstname.lastname@example.org