It's a parent's worst nightmare: You wake up in the middle of the night and find out that your 13-year-old daughter is missing.
Then you realize that the man who has been courting your daughter sexually on the Internet is probably the one who took her away — to Las Vegas, no less.
Luckily, there is justice, and the man is captured and thrown in prison for seven years.
This is the story of one San Bernardino family.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Ivan Lopez, 23, started up an online relationship with an 8th grader more than a year ago. On sites such as MySpace, Lopez asked the girl to be his “girlfriend” and wore down her defenses, asking her over and over to send him naked pictured of herself, which she eventually did.
Over the six month online relationship, Lopez told the girl that he wanted to run away with her and have sex, and that he had been suicidal before meeting her on the Internet. Lopez told her that he considered her to be his wife and had even bought her a ring.
In October 2010, Lopez arranged to secretly pick the girl up from her home while her parents were sleeping, says the U.S. Attorney's Office. From there, they drove to a Las Vegas motel.
When the girl's parents realized she was missing from their home, they immediately called the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department, which quickly determined that Lopez was probably their man. An Amber Alert went out for Lopez's car.
U.S. Marshals soon found Lopez's car at the Vegas motel and Lopez was arrested.
Lopez pleaded guilty in June to “traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct,” says the U.S. Attorney's Office, and was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison this week. Once Lopez gets out, he will spend the rest of his life on supervised release and must register as a sex offender.