LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) - ATM records helped police track down a 19-year-old accused of child molestation and his alleged victim, a 14-year-old, from Indiana to Texas, 24-Hour News 8 news partner the Lebanon Reporter reports.
Joseph Woodruff, 19, was originally arrested on a preliminary charge of child molesting on Oct. 2 and released on $25,000 bond. Cout documents show he admitted to having sex with the 14-year-old multiple times, the newspaper reported
He was then given permission to accompany his family on a vacation to Florida. But when his parents found a suicide note, they reported him missing to police. According to court documents, the girl's parents said she had sent text messages to a friend threatening suicide also. A friend, though told police the suicide notes were a ruse and the two had run away together.
Lebanon police then began tracking Woodruff's ATM card, used at gas stations and motels in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. They called the U.S. Marshals for assistance, and the two were caught in Abiline, Texas, on Nov. 1.
Woodruff now faces additional charges of invasion of privacy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, along with violating an order barring contact with the victim. He is being held on $5 million bond – the highest the judge and prosecutor could remember ever being set for a Boone County arrestee, the newspaper reports.
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