Runaway girl rescued after being held on Valentine's Day

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
Zachary Worley

Detroit — Federal investigators rescued an underage runaway who did homework on her school laptop while being held in a Romulus home on Valentine's Day by a man she met online, according to federal court records.

The girl was rescued at the Greyhound bus station in Detroit last weekend and investigators arrested Zachary Tyler Worley, 25. The Texas man was charged with child pornography, enticement of a minor and a drug crime in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court.

Worley made an initial appearance later Tuesday in federal court and was ordered held without bond until a detention hearing Wednesday. His lawyer was not immediately identified in court records.

The investigation started Friday when Romulus Police were dispatched to a mobile home in the 6000 block of Panam Street regarding a possible runaway or kidnapping.

Officers talked to the homeowner, who said Worley had been staying with him but left for the Greyhound bus station with a 15 or 16-year-old girl.

Romulus Police enlisted the help of a Michigan State Police trooper who found Worley and the girl at the bus station, according to the complaint. Worley was arrested Saturday.

After his arrest, FBI Special Agent Raymond Nichols and a member of the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes task force interviewed the homeowner.

The homeowner said he met the girl and Worley through an Internet chat group. The girl's social media profile indicated she was 19 and from California but she told the homeowner she lived in Michigan.

The homeowner became concerned the girl was underage and believed she was 14 or 15 years old. One clue emerged when she started using a school laptop to complete her homework.

He shared his concerns with Worley, according to the complaint.

Worley said he was going to move with the girl back to Texas and asked for a ride to the bus station, according to the complaint. The homeowner refused, saying the only place he would take the girl was to her father in Oakland County.

Worley told investigators he met the girl through the MeetMe app and they exchanged nude photographs and videos, according to the complaint.

He later traveled to Michigan to meet the girl, investigators alleged.

On Feb. 6, Worley and the homeowner picked up the girl at her home.

The girl spent approximately one week with Worley in Romulus, then he took her back home to Oakland County, according to the complaint.

On Feb. 13, Worley brought the girl back to Romulus, investigators alleged.

"Worley stated that on Valentine's Day, he engaged in sexual intercourse with (the girl)," task force Officer Andrew Carriger wrote in the complaint. "Worley stated he had sexual intercourse with her 'a couple times' on that day."

Worley and the girl also shared LSD, according to the complaint. The drug was packaged with a SpongeBob SquarePants theme.

Investigators recovered Worley's phone and found text messages between the man and the girl, according to investigators. 

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Twitter: @robertsnellnews