Crime

Man faces federal charges after taking 12-year-old girl from her Blue Springs home

William DeLa Cruz, 22, and a 12-year-old Blue Springs girl had reportedly been in contact online since November. DeLa Cruz is accused of driving from Maryland to pick up the girl.
William DeLa Cruz, 22, and a 12-year-old Blue Springs girl had reportedly been in contact online since November. DeLa Cruz is accused of driving from Maryland to pick up the girl.

A 22-year-old Maryland man was charged Monday in federal court with the online sexual enticement of a 12-year Blue Springs girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert on Sunday.

William DeLa Cruz was with the girl when he was arrested Sunday in suburban St. Louis.

On Monday, federal prosecutors in Kansas City charged him with online enticement of a minor.

According to court documents filed to support the filing of charges, DeLa Cruz and the girl had been communicating online since November.

She told DeLa Cruz that she was 15, and some of their conversations were sexually explicit, according to the documents.

On April 6, the girl sent a message to DeLa Cruz telling him that she had run away from home.

He and his older brother drove from Maryland and picked the girl up at her home. DeLa Cruz told his brother that the girl was 19, according to the documents.

After leaving Blue Springs, they drove east on Interstate 70 and engaged in sexual contact at a highway rest stop, the documents say.

They began heading east again, but the brothers got in an argument, and the older man left them in Wentzville, Mo.

Without money for a room, DeLa Cruz and the girl spent the night in a hotel lobby.

While there, he accepted a Facebook friend request from the girl’s mother and reportedly saw a post in which she said that the girl was 12 and she was missing.

Despite knowing her true age, DeLa Cruz allegedly had sex with her again, according to the documents.

He was arrested and the girl was found after members of the public contacted police because of the Amber Alert.

After his arrest, he told police where they had sex and officers found a blanket on the ground, a pink backpack with the girl’s name on it and several toys including a My Little Pony figurine, according to the documents.

His brother, who has not been charged, later turned himself in to police in Ohio. He cooperated and told police he had left the situation because he was “nervous” about the girl’s age.

DeLa Cruz made an initial appearance Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Kansas City and was ordered held in custody pending a detention hearing later this week.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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