RAEFORD, N.C. — A 13-year-old Hoke County girl reported missing Wednesday has been found safe near Charleston, S.C. following an Amber Alert.
Officials say the girl was located around noon Thursday. Samuel Ramos, described as a family friend, was arrested. The girl was expected to reunite with her family later on Thursday.
Authorities believe Ramos abducted the girl outside East Hoke Middle School around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"I'm quite sure he was familiar with the daughter, but other than that, we don't have any other additional information as to their relationship or friendship," Deputy Sheriff Troy McDuffie said.
McDuffie says Ramos called the girl's father shortly after taking her.
"Mr. Ramos informed the father that our victim was with him and he was requesting some monies. We do not feel these are ransom monies," he said.
McDuffie says Ramos asked for a relatively small amount of money, leading investigators to believe he needs it to get out of town.
Deputies worried Ramos planned to go to his native Mexico, making him and the girl much tougher to find.