ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV ) – Police have located a 16-year-old St. Charles girl they believe had run away with a 27-year-old convicted sex offender.
According to police, Molly Linhardt's father picked her up in Monroe County early Wednesday morning.
Investigators said Thomas Kinkade's family was open and cooperative with the investigation, and a member of the family called the Monroe County Sheriff's Department wanting to turn him and Linhardt in.
Police said Linhardt was reported missing by her parents Jan. 14 after they dropped her off at work. Linhardt’s parents later found out she was not scheduled to work that day.
Police said surveillance video showed Linhardt left the Kentucky Fried Chicken, located at 1699 Jungermann Road, on foot and headed in an unknown direction with Kinkade, who’s a registered sex offender.
Kinkade pleaded guilty in 2002 for having sex with a 12-year-old girl.
According to Linhardt’s family, she and Kinkade met at the KFC, where he worked as a manager. The family said he was fired in December when police caught him and Linhardt together and police learned of his criminal history.
The family said Linhardt skipped school to hang out with him.
Police arrived at the residence of the family member who contacted authorities and discovered Linhardt was safe and had no visable injuries.
Kinkade was taken into custody without incident, and later released. Additional information regarding where Linhardt was found were not released by authorities.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Department are conducting follow-up investigations on Kinkade.