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Man facing several charges after being found with missing 13-year-old girl in Oklahoma

CHECOTAH, Okla. – Authorities say a man is being held on charges after he was allegedly found with a missing 13-year-old child from North Carolina.

On Wednesday, officials say they began receiving information from North Carolina law enforcement officials about a possible location of a missing 13-year-old girl.

Just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, special agents and task force officers with the FBI Oklahoma City office, went to the America’s Best Value Inn in Checotah.

Ultimately, investigators found the 13-year-old girl in a room with 23-year-old Jacob Gardea, of New Mexico.

Gardea was arrested on complaints of forcible oral sodomy and lewd acts with a minor. He is currently being held in the McIntosh County Criminal Justice Center without bond. He is also being held for an outstanding arrest warrant from North Carolina for the abduction of a child.

He is scheduled to go before a judge on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

The 13-year-old victim is safe and is currently waiting to be reunited with family members.

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