URBANA — An Indiana man has been charged in federal court with kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of a Champaign girl earlier this month.
Nicholas R. Hurley, 21, of Daleville, Ind., was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in Urbana Tuesday with kidnapping a 13-year-old.
Hurley made an initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bernthal but because there was no federal defender available, the hearing was continued until Thursday. He'll hear the potential penalties for the crime and get his next court date then.
Hurley has been in the custody of police since Sept. 6, a day after he allegedly took the girl from Champaign.
The complaint said that the two of them met in August while the girl was in Daleville., Ind., for a two-week visit with close family friends.
Her mother noticed that Hurley and her daughter were communicating frequently via cellphones and Facebook, so on Sept. 4 she sent him a message telling him it was inappropriate for him to have a relationship with her 13-year-old daughter.
He responded that he would not talk with the teen again.
The next day, on Sept. 5, the girl asked her mother if she could go for a walk in their neighborhood, which was typical. The mother allowed it. The daughter left home about 12:30 p.m. and did not return. She took no personal belongings, including her medication.
About three hours later, she called her mother and told her she had been abducted and had been allowed one phone call to tell her mother she was okay.
The mother contacted police.
The complaint said the mother discovered messages on Facebook under false names, believed to be her daughter and Hurley, that appeared to arrange a meeting at a fast food restaurant in Champaign.
Investigators contacted Hurley's father in Daleville, who reported that his vehicle was missing.
Using cellphone towers, agents were able to track Hurley's phone. They discovered it was in the area of Bondville about 3:22 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, about the time the girl had called to tell her mother she was okay, and that by 7:44 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, it was near a cellphone tower in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
On Sept. 6, an acquaintance of Hurley reported that he had called her and said he "was in big trouble" and wanted to meet her at the Walmart in Cape Girardeau.
Police found Hurley and the girl at the Walmart and took him into custody and returned her home.