Friday, Feb. 23, 2018
(News 12 at 6 O'clock/ NBC 26 News at 7)
Florencio Gomez Saiche
SALUDA COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It all started Tuesday morning.
"Tuesday, February 20th, at approximately 9:52 am, the sheriff's office received a report from family members about a missing 16-year-old girl."
Police say the victim's family was tipped off to her location, a mobile home park off Greenwood Highway in Saluda by the child herself.
"The victim notified family members through social media."
They then went to the trailer she was being held.
"They were met by a Hispanic male."
They asked this man, Florencio Gomez Saiche, if anyone else was there with him.
"During the investigation, they heard someone else in the residence, so they did a protective sweep of the residence to find out."
It was then Sheriff John Perry says they found the girl confined to a bedroom, where she'd been for two months.
"He used intimidation factors, you know, because of the status of our victim," said Saluda County Sheriff, John C. Perry.
The teen is in the country illegally; police say Saiche used that against her. Her parents are still in Guatemala and threatened her with deportation if she reached out for help.
"He was associated, maybe, with the sister of the victim."
It's that connection, police say that made it easier for him to take her in the first place.
According to authorities, she is in safe hands waiting to be back with her family. Deputies say things took a little longer than normal because they often needed translators to step in and mediate when it came to questioning Saiche.
More charges could be filed in the coming days. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
SALUDA COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A missing 16-year-old teen from Kentucky has been found in Saluda County and her alleged captor has been arrested.
According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a home in Saluda County on Tuesday, Feb. 20 just before 10 a.m. When they arrived, they found 24-year-old Florencio Gomez Saiche who told investigators that nobody else was in the home.
While investigators were talking with Saiche, they heard movement inside the home and did a sweep of the residence finding the missing teen and taking her into safety. Saiche was subsequently arrested.
Investigators report there was a language barrier, so SLED and SCDPS Immigration Enforcement Units were brought in to help with the investigation. The investigation soon uncovered that the victim was taken around December 7, 2017, from Kentucky and brought to Saluda County where she was confined to a bedroom until she was able to contact her family through social media when the suspect was not around.
Police tell me Saiche held the girl against her will for 2 months, using intimidation factors such as threatening her with her illegal immigrant status and deportation--to discourage her from reaching out.— Matt Kaufax (@MattKWRDW) February 23, 2018
Saiche is facing charges of kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. More charges may follow pending the outcome of the investigation.
BREAKING: Latest update on the missing 16 year old in Saluda...Police say she is safe and has been in touch with her family--who still reside in Guatemala. No medical updates or updates on her whereabouts will be provided at this time--per the Sheriff @WRDW_WAGT pic.twitter.com/muj8SB5o1X— Matt Kaufax (@MattKWRDW) February 23, 2018