crimes

Smartphone helps detectives find missing Ridgeland, Mississippi girl in Covington, Kentucky

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A girl, 13, left her home in Ridgeland, Madison County, Mississippi, United States with Robin Velasquez-Perez, 19, on July 26, 2022. He allegedly brought her to Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky, USA where his family lives.

When a missing person investigation started in Mississippi, the Ridgeland girl’s smartphone helped detectives track her location to Covington. While less advanced or older phones usually give a general area, newer phones can give an exact location, according to Covington Police Department lieutenant colonel Brian Valenti.

“We get missing persons reports on a regular basis,” Valenti told Fox News. “Many times, they are local and stay local. Sometimes, they wind up crossing state lines.”

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A Mississippi detective called the Covington Police Department to help. On July 29, 2022, they found the girl in Covington and arrested Velasquez-Perez there.

The girl has been safely reunited with her family in Mississippi. Once in custody, Velasquez-Perez admitted to having sex with her.

Booked into the Kenton County Jail in Covington, Velasquez-Perez was charged with custodial interference and second-degree rape and his bond was set at $10,000. He is also facing an immigration charge.

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Gene F. McGee, 74, is the incumbent mayor of Ridgeland. Both the tech company Bomgar and the wireless provider C Spire Wireless are headquartered in the city.

Country music singer Faith Hill, 54, was born and raised in Ridgeland but later moved to Star, Rankin County, Mississippi. Born in Indianola, Sunflower County, Mississippi, singer and songwriter George Henry Jackson died in Ridgeland on April 14, 2013 at the age of 68.

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