State troopers arrested a previously deported illegal immigrant in Ohio on Tuesday after they discovered a missing New Jersey teenager in his vehicle during a traffic stop. Police say the suspect abducted and sexually assaulted the 15-year-old girl.
Police pulled Juan Carlos Morales-Pedraza, reportedly in his mid-30s, over for a moving violation while driving westbound on I-80, WOIO-TV reported. One trooper told WTOL-TV something just “didnt feel right” about the situation.
Ohio State Highway Patrol say neither Morales-Pedraza nor the teen spoke English or had identification on them, but troopers were able to determine both were of El Salvadorian descent and brought a translator to the scene.
Police feared — and later confirmed — the suspect had sexually assaulted the girl. Once they were able to positively identify the teen, they found she was reported missing from Paterson, N.J. Investigators say Morales-Pedraza was transporting the girl to Chicago.
WTOL reported that the girl was a human-trafficking victim. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to state officials, Morales-Pedraza was living in the United States illegally and re-entered after previously being deported, the New York Post reported.
Ohio troopers: Man from Mexico abducted New Jersey teen
The suspect has been charged with abduction with sexual motivation and an immigration detainer, but the OSHP said further charges are pending.
Additionally, Nunez said the girl lied about her age and seemed defensive about the man. Yet, he said the man seemed overly friendly, telling him he was driving to Chicago from New Jersey.
Video: Undocumented Immigrant Arrested In Ohio After Abducting, Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl From New Jers
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