ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A California man who is a registered sex offender is facing charges in St. Louis County after being found in the company of a missing North Carolina teenager.
On Wednesday evening, Kirkwood police were sent to check on a reported suspicious vehicle in a Lowes parking lot near Meachum Park. Officers found the car in a place where people don’t normally park.
Officers struck up a conversation with the driver, identified as Christopher Porter, to ask why the vehicle was parked there. During that encounter, they discovered that the girl with Porter was not related to him. She had been reported missing from Monroe, North Carolina, on October 13.
Police said the missing 16-year-old had her birth certificate on her. She also gave officers her mother’s phone number and they contacted her parents. Porter, 30, was taken into custody.
“I’ve spoken with those officers this morning,” Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard said. “It’s not often where we have cases like this where the child can be reunited with her family. I’m very thankful for the good old-fashioned police work that Kirkwood did.”
The girl told officers that she met Porter through an anonymous social messaging app. She wanted to run away from home, and Porter convinced her to do that. He traveled from Oklahoma to North Carolina to pick her up.
According to a probable cause statement, investigators learned Porter had sexual intercourse with the teenager between October 17 and October 25. Authorities searched Porter’s phone and claimed to have found images and videos of Porter filming himself and the victim having sex, as well as sexually explicit images of the victim.
Monroe police said the teen’s parents flew to Missouri Wednesday evening to be reunited with their daughter.
Porter has a prior conviction in California for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
“Mr. Porter, a convicted sex offender, took advantage of comments made by (the teen) about stress and wanting to run away,” Capt. Steve Morton, Monroe, North Carolina Police Department, said. “Ultimately, convinced her to do so, traveling all the way from Oklahoma to Monroe to pick her up. Porter has been charged with numerous charges in Missouri at this time, and is expected to face more charges as the investigation continues.”
On Thursday, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Porter with second-degree statutory rape, second-degree statutory sodomy, sexual exploitation of a minor, and possession of child pornography – second subsequent offense.
Porter remains jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond.