CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. – A Massachusetts man was arrested in Oklahoma this week after deputies pulled him over and found him with a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing from Los Angeles a few days ago.
On March 9th, Michael Papadonis, a 34-year-old Massachusetts man, was stopped along I-40 near the 108 mile marker when a deputy observed him following too closely behind an 18-wheeler, the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
When the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed a young female passenger inside Papadonis’ truck.
The man told the deputy that the young girl was his cousin and that they were traveling back to Massachusetts to spend some time together.
Doubting the man’s story, the deputy then asked the girl what her relationship was with the man.
The 14-year-old reportedly told the deputy that Papadonis was her cousin.
She added that she was visiting relatives in California with her parents, but they had returned to Massachusetts because of an emergency and she was riding home with her cousin.
According to the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy didn’t believe their stories and started to think Papadonis may have abducted the girl.
When the man refused to give the deputy permission to search his truck, a sheriff’s canine handler was called to the scene.
When the canine made a positive alert to the odor of illegal narcotics, the deputies entered the vehicle, a press release states.
Inside the vehicle, deputies say they found a glass pipe with an unknown residue, as well as several photo-booth style pictures of the two kissing.
They also reportedly found the 14-year-old’s school photo identification car.
From the information on the school ID card, authorities were able to confirm the girl had been reported as a missing juvenile with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, March 7th.
Deputies were informed that after the girl’s mother went to pick her up at school around 3:30 p.m. on Monday and she was never located.
The girl’s mother then filed a missing person report with the LA County Sheriff.
When investigators let the girl’s mother in California know her daughter had been located with Papadonis, the woman told authorities she knew the two were involved in a relationship, but did not grant Papadonis permission to take her daughter out of state.
“I find it extremely disturbing that any parent could suspect a 34-year-old man is having a sexual relationship with their 14-year-old daughter, and not do anything about it. If she lived in Canadian County, I’d put her in jail too,”Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards said.
The girl was taken to a local hospital where authorities say she admitted that she and Papadonis had sex.
“When the girl told the nurse they had sex just a few hours before being stopped by my deputy, she was telling her that the 34-year-old child predator had raped her,” Edwards said.
Papadonis was taken into custody following a brief scuffle with deputies, officials say.
He was booked into the Canadian County Jail on charges of lewd acts with a child under the age of 16 and resisting arrest.
Drug charges are pending analysis by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s drug lab, authorities say.
Papadonis’ bail is set at $51,000.