PROVIDENCE, R.I. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A Missouri man has been charged with child sex trafficking in the case of a developmentally delayed Massachusetts girl who went missing this week and was later found safe in Rhode Island.
Stephen Ardrey, 30, of Springfield, Mo., was detained following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence on Friday. He was also charged with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal activity. He did not enter a plea.
A judge ordered Ardrey held without bail. Authorities say he has a prior conviction for a sex crime.
Medfield, Mass., police have said 17-year-old Brittany Thompson was found walking down a Coventry, R.I., street "safe and unharmed" on Thursday. Authorities say she had been seen leaving the Medfield Public Library with Ardrey on Monday. The two are believed to have met online.
Meanwhile, in West Greenwich, R.I., Homeland Security agents searched a room at a Super 8 motel. Investigators said they are looking for Ardrey's computer. It's unclear what they are hoping to find on it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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