Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

California boy kidnapped by Tampa man returns home

TAMPA — The 14-year-old California boy who traveled to Tampa this week with Tony McLeod, the man accused of kidnapping him, returned home Wednesday, police said.

Tampa police arranged a flight for the teen. Escondido, Calif., police released a statement Wednesday stating that the boy was back in the state.

The investigation will move forward "with the collection of evidence, interview of additional witnesses and other follow up activity in both Tampa and Escondido," according to the statement.

The teen, whom authorities have not identified, returned home three days after his parents reported him missing. In May, they had discovered their son was receiving text messages, many of them sexually explicit, from McLeod, who lived in an Ybor City condominium.

Police tracked McLeod's cellphone Monday and discovered he was near Los Angeles International Airport. Delta Air Lines representatives told police McLeod was on a flight to Tampa, along with the boy, authorities said.

McLeod was arrested Tuesday on several charges, including kidnapping and transmission of harmful material to a minor.

He remained in the Hillsborough County jail Thursday without bail.

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