Police in California say they have arrested a 40-year-old man, whom they called a white supremacist and known advocate of child sex abuse, for grooming a 12-year-old girl and allegedly coercing her to run away from home and fly across the country to meet him.
Nathan Daniel Larson of Virginia is currently being held in Denver County Jail and faces a misdemeanor charge of harboring a minor. He also faces felony charges in Fresno, California — where the girl lives — for kidnapping, child abduction, soliciting child pornography from a minor, and meeting a child for the intention of sex.
Police believe that Larson has victimized more children in the past and are urging anyone to come forward if they have information.
According to a release from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, the girl was first reported missing on Dec. 12.
Investigators interviewed friends and family members; one of the girl's acquaintances mentioned that she had met an older man on social media in October, police said at a press conference. She was coerced into running away with him and caught a flight to Virginia.
Investigators then found out that a man, who was later identified as Larson, and a young girl had boarded a plane heading to Washington, DC. The flight was scheduled for a layover in Denver, where local police then arrested him.
Law enforcement rescued the girl and arranged for her to be reunited with her family in Fresno. She was uninjured, police said.
"There was some activity including at the airport that was inappropriate between her and the suspect," law enforcement said. "That's going to help bolster the current charges that we have through the DA's office."
Officials discovered more information after Larson was taken into custody, according to the release. He allegedly flew to Fresno and went to the girl's house, coercing her to sneak out late at night. He called a ride-hail service to pick her up, according to police, and they went to the Fresno airport together. Larson allegedly made her wear a wig and told her to act as if she had a disability and was unable to speak so that she would not talk to anyone at the airport.
Larson has been the subject of national media attention in the past. He pleaded guilty to sending a letter to Secret Service threatening to kill the president in 2008 (when George W. Bush was president and Barack Obama president-elect) and served 16 months in federal prison.
He also ran for local office in Virginia three times. Each time, he was either solidly defeated or withdrew.
According to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, Larson runs a website encouraging child rape and sharing such material. While communicating with the 12-year-old girl in the past two months, "Larson was able to convince the Fresno girl, through manipulation and grooming, to send him pornographic images of herself," the sheriff's office said.
"Due to the sophisticated nature of how Larson groomed this Fresno girl, detectives believe he has victimized other children in the past, but those cases have never been reported to law enforcement," the sheriff's office said.
Larson faces life in prison if convicted of the felony charges in Fresno.