A SEBASTOPOL man is wanted by police for his involvement in the case of a missing 13-year-old girl.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Dean James, who police believe has absconded with a girl from northern Victoria after months of “online grooming”.
The 36-year-old, who is known to police, met with the girl on Tuesday morning and is believed to be travelling to South Australia.
The missing teenager, who
She caught a train from Swan Hill to Bendigo on her way to Ballarat, where she has since been sighted.
Ballarat Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall said the pair had met on social networking web sites, with interactions dating back a number of months.
He said police held grave concerns for the safety of the girl and that her parents were in deep distress in Swan Hill.
“It’s a diabolical situation for the parents,” Senior Sergeant Argall said.
“As time goes by they become more concerned and they don’t know where she is and they don’t know what’s happened to her.”
The pair are believed to be travelling in a 1997 EL Ford station wagon, with the registration QZW-540.
Dean James is described as being 180 centimetres tall with a solid build.
He weighs about 90 kilograms, has cropped hair, and an unshaven appearance.
The teenager is described as 160 centimetres tall, thin build, shoulder length brown hair, fair complexion with freckles.
She was last seen wearing a school uniform with a navy blue v-neck jumper, white polo shirt and blue, yellow and grey skirt.
Senior Sergeant Argall sent out a strong warning to people using social networking sites on the internet, regardless of age.
“If you are on the internet, make sure you know who you are talking to because people can very easily pretend to be someone they are not,” he said.
“We are calling on any members of the public who have seen either of these people to contact Crime Stoppers.”
Anybody with information is asked to contact 000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.