KATY, Texas – Some alert parents helped investigators nab an Illinois man who was allegedly plotting to kidnap their 14-year-old daughter.
James Wean Jr., 49, from Pearl City, Illinois, began communicating with the girl on her Facebook page, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. When her parents found sexually-explicit messages from Wean, they called the sheriff.
"This is a perfect example of what parents should be aware of these days," said Bob Haenal with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s department.
They set up a sting and a Special Crimes detective began posing as the girl and communicating with Wean.
"Basically our detectives took over her identity online," Haenal said. "They arranged a meeting, and the suspect decided to drive over 900 miles from his home in Illinois."
Investigators say Wean thought he was meeting the girl. They believe he was planning to take her away, possibly out of the country.
Instead, detectives and deputies were waiting for him when he drove into a gas station in the 3500 block of Pin Oak Tuesday night. They arrested Wean who is charged with attempted aggravated kidnapping.
"I know the kids are going to say it's an invasion of privacy," Haenal said. "Had we not intervened, had the parents not come to us, the child could have very well been missing today."
Wean is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail on a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.