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Missing Teen-Ager Found Restrained

January 5, 2002

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ FBI agents on Saturday sought to interview a 13-year-old girl who disappeared from her home on New Year’s Day, possibly to meet a man she met on the Internet, then was found restrained in a home in northern Virginia.

A tip to the girl’s location had come from a man in Florida who saw a Web cam photo of her and matched it with a newspaper photo of the missing teen, the FBI said.

Scott Tyree, 38, of Herndon, Va., was arrested Friday in the disappearance of the girl, said FBI Agent Jack Shea in Pittsburgh.

Tyree was charged with illegal transportation of a minor for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct, a felony that carries up to 15 years in prison, said U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan. Additional charges might be considered, Buchanan said.

FBI agents broke into Tyree’s home on Friday afternoon and found the 13-year-old ``restrained within the residence,″ Shea said.

Authorities would not specify how the girl was restrained or give any other details.

She was expected to be reunited with her family Saturday, said FBI Agent William Crowley in Pittsburgh.

Authorities said the girl had been taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for evaluation Friday, but hospital officials said she was not in the hospital’s patient information system Saturday morning.

There was no word on when or where she was to be reunited with her family, and there was no answer at her parents’ telephone number Saturday. Agents in Washington who were involved in her rescue didn’t immediately return calls Saturday.

Shea said the girl appeared to have no life-threatening injuries but officials were uncertain about how successful they would be at interviewing her.

``There’s a question of how much they’re going to be able to (ask) ... depending on her state of mind,″ Crowley said.

FBI agents and a ``high-tech crimes task force″ also went to the family’s home and examined files on the girl’s computer, which family members said she used often.

On Thursday evening, a caller told FBI agents in Tampa, Fla., that he had been in contact with a man via the Internet who said he had brought a girl from Pennsylvania, Shea said.

Shea said the man told FBI agents Tyree sent him a Web cam image of the girl. The man, whose name was not released, went to the Web site of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and saw a photo of a girl accompanying a story of a possible abduction. The photo resembled the image he had seen, Shea said.

Investigators traced a Yahoo Internet account to Tyree early Friday, Shea said.

Tyree is divorced and has a 12-year-old daughter who lives with her mother in Stockton, Calif. Sarah Tyree, 34, said her daughter returned from visiting her father on New Year’s Day, the same day the 13-year-old girl disappeared from her Pittsburgh home.

The 13-year-old disappeared from her home with $200 in Christmas money and without a winter coat. Her parents said they believed she had gone to her room after dinner on New Year’s Day, but now think she may have slipped out through the front door.

Authorities believe Tyree picked her up in a car, which they searched for evidence late Friday.

Tyree was not at the home, but was found about a half hour after police entered his home, Shea said.

Tyree is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate on Monday, Shea said.

His mother, Erma Tyree of Keyser, W.Va., refused to say if her son had an attorney and otherwise declined to comment on Saturday.

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