ALLEGAN, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A 34-year-old California man has been charged with kidnapping a Michigan teenager he met online.
Joseph Arpin, a resident of San Jacinto, California, was arraigned on a kidnapping charge in Allegan District Court on Thursday. He is being held on a $100,000 bond ahead of his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Nov. 7.
Thirteen-year-old Rachel Baker, of Hamilton, Michigan, was reported missing last month. Nancy Baker, Rachel’s mother, has said her daughter left their home late at night, climbing out a bedroom window to take off with Arpin. She told WZZM her daughter left a letter before she disappeared.
“Mom you don’t understand anything, give him a chance — meet him,” the letter read.
A day later, authorities say they found the girl with Arpin at a convenience store in Crestwood, Missouri.
Police say the girl initially met Arpin online, communicating through social media websites such as Facebook. Investigators believe Arpin showed up in Michigan about two weeks before Rachel disappeared.
Hamilton is near Lake Michigan, about 25 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.
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