Itawamba County Juveniles Safe After Leaving Home; Fulton Man Charged With Kidnapping

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – Two Itawamba County girls reported missing early Tuesday are safe and an 18 year old Fulton man is in jail, charged in connection with their kidnapping.

Authorities say this case began when 18 year old Dylan Franz was contacted by 12 year old Victoria Keene, asking for a ride.  The two allegedly picked up 14 year old Anna Grace Lease at this Fulton convenience store early Tuesday morning.

“When you’re at home, and asleep, a child can hit the road on you, that’s a scary thought, a scary thing,” said Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson.

Indeed it was frightening for parents of the two juveniles.  Authorities were contacted and Dylan Franz quickly became a person of interest.  An alert deputy with the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Department pulled Franz over on a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon and was told the two girls had been dropped off at the Wal Mart in Iuka.

“He carried them over into Alabama, in Rusellville, dropped them off at a store and left them, he eventually came back and picked them up,” Sheriff Dickinson said.

The sheriff says Mississippi law is clear.  Anyone under 16 years of age can’t decide on their own to leave their home without their parent’s approval.  The sheriff also says Dylan Franz knew the young ladies were runaways.

“Eighteen years old, you know your friends have run away from home, you know they’re not doing the right thing.  Bad things can happen to a 14 year old and 12 year old girl.  We’re going to get somebody’s attention here,” he said.

Sheriff Dickinson says Victoria Keene is at the Juvenile Detention Center in Lee County,   Anna Grace Lease is at her home and Dylan Franz is charged with statutory kidnapping.  His bail is set at $50,000.

Sheriff Dickinson encourages parents to closely monitor their children’s social media accounts and cell phone activity.

Categories: Local News

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