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Updated: MI Man, 22, Jailed in Case of LA Runaway, 12

The man, who apparently was staying with friends at a North Erwin Street apartment in Cartersville, is accused of aggravated child molestation and other crimes.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 27, 8:30 a.m.

Investigators in Covington, LA, used phone records and text messages to track a missing 12-year-old girl to a North Erwin Street apartment in Cartersville, according to the Cartersville Police Department incident report released this morning and attached.

Local authorities about noon went to the apartment and found Burke and the missing girl.

"Mr. Burke stated he had gone to Louisiana to pick the victim up and bring her back here because he was worried for her safety," an officer said in the report. "Mr. Burke claimed he did not know how old she was, but then claimed to talk about things going on at school with her."

Following formal interviews with the child and Burke, the Michigan man was charged with three crimes and jailed. The girl was set to be picked up by her parents, who were headed to Georgia. 

Original Report

Cartersville police officers this afternoon arrested a Michigan man in connection with the disappearance of a Louisiana girl, 12. 

Brett Robert Burke, 22, was charged with aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation and interference with child custody, and could face additional charges depending upon the outcome of the investigation, according to the press release.

The girl, who had been had been missing since late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, was listed as a runaway by local Louisiana law enforcement officials, whose investigation led them to the Cartersville area.

Authorities say Burke and the girl knew each other through the Internet. He allegedly traveled to Louisiana on Saturday, and either late that night or in the early hours of Sunday morning, brought the girl back to Cartersville, where he apparently was staying with friends.

"We are extremely pleased that this young girl was located as quickly as she was," Chief Thomas "Tommy" Culpepper said in a statement. "The longer a person is missing, the less likely it is that law enforcement will locate the individual. Our officers did a great job in resolving this situation."

Burke is being taken to the Bartow County jail and the investigation is ongoing.

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