Nathan Salas, 27, of Merced, Calif., was taken into custody at the Sacramento International Airport Monday evening following a 24-hour search into the whereabouts of a Hamden girl reported missing over the weekend, according to a news release from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
The 14-year-old has since been identified as Emma Tobin.
After entering her information in a national database for missing juveniles, Hamden police conducted a forensic analysis of Tobin's phone, Sacramento police said.
Investigators discovered that Tobin had been in contact with a man from Merced, later identified as Salas, and police were able to obtain his number from the phone records, police said. The pair reportedly met online playing video games, according to WFSB, and previously confirmed in a Patch interview with Emma Tobin's father, Todd Tobin.
Sacramento police said they believe the relationship between the two had been going on for several months. According to Sacramento police, the search was kicked off in Hamden after the girl's parents found a suicide note from her in their home, after which they reported her missing.
From there, officials from the Merced County Sheriff's Department contacted the Sacrament airport, and the investigation revealed that Salas had arranged a flight with the victim from the east coast to Sacramento, police said. Tobin's parents told WFSB that they believe she left with the man from LaGuardia Airport in New York.
Around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies contacted Salas and the victim as they got off their inbound flight at the airport, and the deputies then made contact with victim’s father in Connecticut, police said.
He confirmed the parents did not know Salas, and had not given their daughter permission to leave with him, police said.
Salas was booked for a charge of intentionally concealing a child without the parents' consent and is being held in Sacrament on a $100,000 bond.
Tobin was brought to a juvenile detention center as a runaway, although her father said she is expected to be returned home soon.
The above information came from a press release from Sgt. Jason Ramos of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.