• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

2 arrested in Amber Alert disappearance

July 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A registered sex offender and another man are behind bars in the case of a 13-year-old girl whose disappearance triggered an Amber Alert.The young victim was found safe after a five-day ordeal that investigators believe began with a message exchange online.

One of the suspects allegedly spent time with the girl at a motel in Orange.

Authorities allege Richard Carroll, a 68-year-old registered sex offender, met the 13-year-old girl online. We're not identifying her because she's a minor.

Carroll allegedly picked her up at her family's apartment in Rancho Santa Margarita last Wednesday and dropped her off in Huntington Beach.

Investigators suspect the teenager then contacted Dave Egert, a 48-year-old man who she also met online, who spent more than a day with her at a motel in Orange. Authorities say he panicked.

"He tried to get her to say if the police hear of this, nothing happened between us," said Orange County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesman Jim Amormino. "He then left."

Investigators suspect Carroll then met the teen again and spent five days with her at his apartment in Capistrano Beach.

"I didn't hear any noise. We live and work here too and I didn't hear anything unusual," said "Hans," the landlord of the apartment, who did not want to be identified on camera. "I didn't know he was home. His doors were locked up and the blinds were pulled."

"Hans" only wants to use his first name. He's rented the apartment to Carroll for the past year. He's angry that background checks did not show Carroll had a past federal conviction for possessing illegal material depicting a minor in sexual conduct.

"How are you supposed to know? The guy was quiet, he paid his rent," said "Hans." "I'm shocked. I'm still trying to swallow it."

Officials say Carroll dropped the girl off at a grocery store Monday after an Amber Alert went out after her worried family discovered explicit e-mails between the girl and the two men.

"I believe they had financial control," said Amormino. "They had money to give her."

Carroll faces child molestation charges. Egert is accused of attempting to arrange a meeting for illicit purposes.

"You have two sexual predators, one convicted, one not, taking advantage of a very vulnerable 13-year-old girl," said Amormino.

Why wasn't Richard Carroll's name listed on the Megan's Law website? Authorities say his conviction was federal involving mail. His name was listed on a website accessible only to law enforcement.

The teen is home safe with her family.


Load Comments