SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — A 34-year-old man is charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old Springdale girl and transporting her to his home in Texas with “the intent of engaging in sexual activity,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the West District of Texas on Wednesday.
According to court documents, Kraig David Van Winkle traveled from his home in Schertz, Texas to Springdale in January, 2020, for the purpose of meeting a 13-year-old girl he met online on the chat website Omegle.
Van Winkle and the victim then transferred their communications to the social media app Snapchat. The 34-year-old stated he and the child had been chatting for approximately two weeks before he left his Texas home for Arkansas to take her, telling the girl he “could take care of her,” according to court records.
Witnesses and surveillance footage helped the Springdale Police Department identify Van Winkle as the driver of a vehicle that picked up the victim on the day of her disappearance, the documents say.
FBI agents staged a pizza-flyer delivery ruse and arrested Van Winkle at his Texas home, recovering the child two days after she went missing, according to court documents.
Van Winkle is charged with one count of interstate kidnapping of a minor and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the kidnapping charge and a minimum of ten years to life imprisonment for the kidnapping charge.
The Schertz, Texas resident waived his arraignment, thus pleading not guilty to the charge, according to U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
The San Antonio FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, investigated this case with assistance from FBI Little Rock and the Springdale Police Department, according to the release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government
Van Winkle remains in federal custody.