CLEARWATER — A 19-year-old Texas man is charged with lewd and lascivious conduct in the case of an 11-year-old girl who disappeared from her Pinellas County home on Thursday and was found in an Orlando apartment Friday, authorities said.
Richie Urich, of 7319 Fair Oaks Ave., No. 110, Dallas, was arrested by Orlando police after they found the girl at an apartment where he was staying. Officers went there after the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office learned that the girl might be there.
The St. Petersburg Times isn't naming the girl because of the nature of the crime. The Sheriff's Office had previously released her name when it was seeking the public's help in finding her.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the girl was last seen Thursday afternoon at her home on Missouri Avenue near Clearwater. She told an elderly family member she was seeing a movie with a relative.
When she didn't come home after three hours, her family called the relative and learned the two weren't together and hadn't gone to the movie. The girl's father reported her missing about 8:15 p.m.
The girl didn't have any history of running away, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Marianne Pasha. "She's not known to leave the home without parents or relatives," Pasha said.
About 11 p.m., the girl called home and said she was "fine" and was still in the area, Pasha said. But by 11:30 p.m., detectives learned she might be in Orlando with an unidentified man. They discovered this by reviewing electronic messages, some of which were sexually explicit. Pasha declined to say how detectives accessed the information, citing the ongoing investigation.
Detectives issued an Amber Alert and after pinpointing a possible address, they contacted the Orlando Police Department.
Just before 8 a.m., deputies got word that Orlando police found the girl in an apartment. Urich was there with four other people.
Urich has no criminal history in Florida and no convictions in Texas, according to state records. It's unclear if he has ever been arrested.
The girl and her family moved to Pinellas from Texas about three months ago, Pasha said, but detectives have received differing accounts about how Urich and the girl knew each other.
The girl's father, Tim Thompson, said he was just thankful she had been found.
"It was scary, I mean very scary," Thompson said. "It's been a very long night."