TRUMANN, Ark. - The Arkansas teen who disappeared from her Trumann home over the weekend was found safe hundreds of miles away and her accused kidnapper was taken into custody.
Chad Henson with the Trumann Police Department confirmed Arissa Farmer was located around 2 a.m. Thursday morning in O'Neil, Nebraska, which is 185 miles northwest of Omaha.
Craig Gillum, 53, of Shelbyville, Tennessee was taken into custody by the FBI and is awaiting extradition from Nebraska back to Arkansas.
Trumann Police say they expect to charge him with human trafficking, computer child pornography, interference with custody, directing sexual performance by a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Authorities say the man had met the 16-year-old online. He and several others appeared to have “groomed and mentored" her for their purposes. Police said the messages were graphic in nature.
Trumann Police Chief Chadwick Henson said the investigation will continue and may involve other suspects.
"The arrest of Gillum has led to other persons of interests in multiple cities and multiple states and this investigation will continue, therefore this case will remain open regardless of Gillum’s arrest," Henson said.
The Jonesboro High student, on the robotics and debate team, ran away from home late Saturday.
Early Thursday morning, Farmer's family posted to Facebook announcing the development.
"Each morning I have made a post that comes from the raw emotion created by this nightmare. But today--I get to make a different post. Today's post is about elated joy, thankfulness, relief, and God's blessings. I can not thank everyone enough for all of your hard work. Because of you, the hard work of officers, and the blessings from God, my husband and I will be able to hug our daughter again."
WREG spoke with the teen's father, Tracy Farmer, several hours after he received word his daughter had been located.
"I'm going to tell her I love her. You know it would be easy to be mad for the roller coaster but that's not what's important, what's important is she's safe and she's comin back home," he said.
Farmer says detectives had problems accessing Arissa's school-issued laptop she was able to take home because no one knew her password.
The father said he doesn't blame the school district for what happened.
" Our desire is to set down with the school district, especially the Jonesboro School District and see if we can't make some policy changes so this doesn't happen to another parent. "
But Trumann's Assistant Police Chief, Jonathan Redman, believes most of Arissa's interactions were on her cell phone through an app or chat service.
She knew a lot more than we did about that kind of thing," said Redman.
They're not releasing specifics but say parents need to be educated.
"What chat apps are what Whats App is what Facebook Messenger is any kind of messenger what Google Hangout is," he said.