ALDEN — A man has been charged in the suspected kidnapping of a Texas girl authorities said they rescued in a predawn raid.
The man, identified in a Monday U.S. Attorney’s Office release as Thomas John Boukamp, 20, was charged with “transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.” He made a first appearance in federal court Monday.
The 14-year-old girl, listed as “missing and endangered,” disappeared from her home in Lubbock, Texas according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation release. That was on Nov. 13, according to FBI Spokeswoman Mara Schneider.
The girl was last seen near her middle school that afternoon.
Inspections of the teen’s personal items — including her phone and laptop — led investigators to believe she’d been talked into a rendezvous and taken out of state by someone she’d been chatting with online.
The discovery prompted FBI involvement and a much larger-scale investigation, according to the FBI release.
The northern Michigan area was a likely hiding spot, the agency’s investigations determined — more than 1,400 miles and a 20-plus hour drive from the girl’s home.
Michigan State Police investigators assisted with the case alongside the Antrim County Sheriff’s Department, US Attorney’s Office and an MSP SWAT Team, according to Seventh District Public Information Officer Lt. Derrick Carroll.
Coordinations with those agencies led investigators to Boukamp’s Alden address, which officers descended upon Sunday morning via a joint search warrant.
Boukamp was taken into custody at the scene. He was initially detained before a criminal complaint was drawn up later that day by federal prosecutors.
The girl, alive and well, was found inside.
Child Protective Services are involved with the incident, and the girl was taken to Munson Medical Center for an evaluation before being returned to her parents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office release.
Boukamp hails from Michigan and has a home in Alden. It’s where the girl was likely kept, according to the FBI.
Boukamp remains in custody, and will face a judge in Texas’ Northern District Court.
If convicted, the charge Boukamp faces carries a penalty of no less than 10 years in prison, according to a criminal code breakdown via Cornell University’s nonprofit Legal Information Institute. A judge could send him to prison for life under the statute as well.
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