Computer solicitation leads to Texas man’s arrest

Published 5:00am Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A 23-year-old Texas man is in custody at the Elmore County Jail, charged with a long list of criminal acts including sexual offenses and solicitation of a child via computer.

Chris Ton Stephens was arrested Tuesday after a search conducted by multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Wetumpka Deputy Police Chief Anthony Crenshaw said his department first became involved Saturday after receiving a report of a runaway 14-year-old Wetumpka girl.

“This started out as a runaway case,” he said. “She was reported to have left home with an adult male and through the weekend we knew they hadn’t left the city.”

Crenshaw said things changed Monday.

“That’s when we developed some background information through identification of the male adult. This allowed us to step up our efforts and change her status from a runaway to her being missing and endangered.”

The status change also permitted the department to involve other agencies.

“Through a collaborative effort we were able to flush them out of hiding Tuesday onto U.S. Highway 231 where they were apprehended,” Crenshaw said.

After the girl was interviewed by police Tuesday afternoon she was returned to her parents.

The Wetumpka Police Department was assisted by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, Central Alabama Drug Task Force, Alabama Department of Corrections K-9 Unit, Alabama State Troopers Aviation, Alabama Fusion Center, U.S. Marshals and the FBI.

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