Missing Pelham girl met Huntsville man on social media, deputies say

Man charged after being found with missing Pelham girl

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A missing girl from Pelham has been found safe in Huntsville.

The 13-year-old girl went missing from the Pelham area Tuesday morning. Investigators say several leads led them to Joslin Street in Huntsville where she and an adult male were found Thursday afternoon. Both were taken into custody without incident.

After she was found in Huntsville, she was checked out at a local hospital and is doing OK.

The man was arrested. Authorities identified him as 24-year-old Rodrigo Chagolla Ortega.

Madison County investigators say Ortega met the girl on social media and told her he was 19.

A news release from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office states: “Parents, this is a warning to every one of us. We encourage parents to be mindful of what your kids are doing online and who they are talking to. These threats are real and do exist.”

Pelham police say they are obtaining a felony warrant for interference with custody.

Madison County jail records show he is charged with enticing a child and second-degree rape. Records also show there is an ICE detainer on him.

“We are happy that the victim can be reunited with her family, and that the man responsible has been brought to justice. The tireless work by the FBI and the Sheriff’s Office Investigators help bring this case to a close. This is yet another example of the importance of multi-jurisdictional partnerships. I’d also like to thank ALEA who made the AMBER alert broadcast possible,” said Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner.

“I just want to take this opportunity also to remind parents to be vigilant. To know the whereabouts of your children at all times. Try to maintain strong relationships with them and please know who they’re friends are,” said Pelham Police Chief Pat Cheatwood.

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