The Lake County Sheriff’s Office on January 21, 2023, at about 12:30 p.m., received a call from the parent of a missing juvenile from Middleton, Ohio. The parent said their two children and a friend of their children were missing. The parent said that their 12-year-old girl, their 14-year-old girl, as well as a 15 year-old male friend of their daughters were all missing. The parent said one of the cellular phones tracked somewhere in the area of the block of 10600 West Yorkhouse Road, Beach Park.
Lake County Sheriff’s Telecommunicators obtained additional information about the missing children from the caller, and learned an unknown male, driving a Ford Mustang left Middleton with the children at approximately 10:30 p.m. on January 20, 2023. Sheriff’s Telecommunicators searched an internal database and found Michael Negron, 19, of the block of 10600 West Yorkhouse Road, Beach Park, drove a Ford Mustang which matched the description of the vehicle that was seen in Middleton, Ohio.
Lake County Sheriff’s deputies began checking the area and located the Ford Mustang at a gas station in the area of Lewis Avenue and Wadsworth Road, Beach Park — just northeast of the Waukegan National Airport. Lake County Sheriff’s deputies located the three juveniles and Michael Negron, who was arrested and transported to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. The juveniles were all transported to safety at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center.
Further investigation revealed Negron was communicating with the 12-year-old for several weeks on Fortnite, SnapChat, and other social media platforms. Negron drove to the Middleton, Ohio area on January 18, 2023, and stayed at a hotel. It is believed he interacted with the three juveniles several times during his stay in Middleton. He then departed with the three juveniles on January 20th and drove them to Beach Park. One of the children texted their parent a description of the car they were in, which helped the sheriff’s office search for and locate Negron and the juveniles.
According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Negron’s intentions with the children were unclear.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
— Lake County Sheriff’s Office
After hearing the facts and circumstances of the situation, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved one count of kidnapping and three counts of child endangerment.
“It is an unfortunate reality, but there are predators among us who prey on children. Many of these predators use social media applications to initially meet a child and build trust with them. After that trust is built, they convince the child to meet. It is incredibly important to look at your children’s electronics to see what applications they are using, who they are communicating with, and what they are saying. I am so proud of my staff for working together to quickly locate and rescue these children.”
— Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg
Negron remains held in the Lake County Jail after an initial court hearing Sunday morning. Michael Jesus Negron’s bond was set at $200,000 (10%) for the kidnapping charge. Additional charges are possible.
A Beach Park man is facing kidnapping charges after three children were abducted from Ohio and found in Illinois (FOX 32 Chicago). YouTube Tips ⓘ
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