A 15-year-old Stoughton girl who ran away to meet a 38-year-old Pennsylvania man she met on the Internet was safely reunited with her family Wednesday afternoon.

A 15 year-old Stoughton girl who ran away to meet a 38-year-old Pennsylvania man she met on the Internet was safely reunited with her family Wednesday afternoon.

The girl’s mother told police she last heard from her daughter Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. The girl had called to say she was with friends and would be home later than usual.

That evening when the girl had not returned home, the mother reported her missing to police.

Stoughton Police Det. Jim O’Connor immediately spoke with the girl’s friends. 

He learned that the teenager had been chatting on line with an adult male.

O’Connor shared the information with the teenager’s mother, who then voluntarily gave her daughter’s computer to police. 

O’Connor and Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office State Trooper Dave McSweeney searched the computer and were quickly able to track the man’s name and address.

“It was a swift process – everything went the right way,” said Stoughton Police Executive Officer Rob Devine. “From the time we identified the man, it only took a few hours to track them down.”  

Using the information they learned, detectives located the man’s family members in Aliquippa, Pa. The relatives told police that the man was meeting someone at a hotel in Massachusetts. 

Police retrieved the name of the hotel and started calling all of those hotels in the area.

O’Connor determined the man and the teenager were at the Holiday Inn-owned Candlewood Suites in Braintree.

The girl’s mother applied for and was granted a CHINS (Child in need of services) warrant. The warrant allows police to arrest a runaway juvenile and return her to her parents.

Braintree Police was contacted and dispatched Dets. Ted Querzoli and David Clark to the hotel. The detectives arrested the teenager and returned her to the Braintree Police Station.

O’Connor and Officer Sandra Barrett went to Braintree, picked up the teenager and brought her back to her family in Stoughton. The girl was reunited with her mother at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

The girl’s name was not released because she is a juvenile. Stoughton Police could not provide any details regarding the man involved. A phone call to Braintree Police had not yet been returned. The incident remains under investigation.

“The work Det. O’Connor did was exemplary,” said Devine. “It was excellent work by the departments involved and it all led to the safe recovery of this girl.”

Stoughton Journal