FORT ATKINSON, Wis. - A Fort Atkinson man is accused of kidnapping a Michigan teen and driving her to his apartment where he kept her for several days, according to a court document.
James Daniel Werner, 43, is accused of abducting a 14-year-old girl from Saginaw, Michigan, on April 15, then driving her to his home in Fort Atkinson and locking her inside until Friday, when law enforcement found her after receiving a tip.
According to the criminal complaint filed Sunday by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Werner and the girl started communicating using an instant messenger app called Kik. Werner asked the girl for her address, then drove to her home in Saginaw. He messaged the girl, telling her to come outside, but she didn’t come out until 2 hours later. When she came outside, Werner grabbed her wrist and forced her into his car, authorities said, then drove back to Fort Atkinson and locked her in a bedroom.
Werner told police the girl wanted to run away from home, according to the complaint. He said they arrived in Fort Atkinson at 7:30 a.m. April 16 and went to sleep. When they woke up, he started to panic.
Werner bought the girl a tablet so she could communicate with him while he was out of the apartment. The complaint said Fort Atkinson police received a tip about the missing girl’s whereabouts from a woman who works for a nationwide crisis texting hotline. The girl also used Kik to message with a friend and told the friend, “I’m a missing child” and “I was taken,” authorities said.
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