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Tyler man who allegedly kidnapped, sexually assaulted Alabama girl indicted by Smith County grand jury

Daniel Skipworth, 19, was indicted for kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault of a child and trafficking a child on June 24.

TYLER, Texas — A Tyler man who is accused of trafficking a girl from Alabama has been indicted by a Smith County grand jury.

According to Smith County judicial records, Daniel Skipworth, 19, was indicted for kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault of a child and trafficking a child on June 24.

Tyler Police Department Public Information Office Andy Erbaugh says the police department received a tip at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 17, from the FBI about a kidnapping victim possibly being held at a residence in the 3600 block of Woods Blvd.

Erbaugh said officers met with Skipworth and after searching his home they found the 13-year-old girl.

According to the arrest warrant obtained by CBS19, officials received a tip of a 13-year-old from Florence, Alabama, who went missing from her foster family's home on Thursday, April 15.

Cell phone information determined the child left the Florence around 5:36 a.m. on Thursday. Investigators were also able to figure out the girl was traveling with another person with a cell phone number later determined to reportedly belong to Skipworth.

Officials say they were able to determine Skipworth left his home in The Woods, around 7:43 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, and was traveled to Florence, Alabama, area before coming back to Tyler.

On Saturday, April 17, the FBI was able to ping Skipworth's cellphone to a home on Woods Blvd. 

Officials arrived at the residence, but no one answered the door. Contact was made with Skipworth's father who arrived home to meet authorities. Authorities say Skipworth's father was adamant there was not a 13-year-old girl in the home.

Law enforcement says Skipworth's father went and spoke to his son privately for "some time." 

When Skipworth met with officials, he was uncooperative and upset his family allowed investigators into their home, according to the affidavit.

Eventually, officials say Skipworth confirmed the child was in his room and she "emerged visibly shaken."

Authorities say the girl told them she met Skipworth online and did, in fact, tell him she was 13. They agreed to meet up and Skipworth parked outside her family's home at night as to not wake her parents. 

"Though she initially left willingly, [the child] stated approximately 30 minutes after leaving her residence, she asked Skipworth to take her home," the warrant said. However, Skipworth refused. The girl said Skipworth even had her dispose of her phone to avoid being tracked.

According to the warrant, the child also told officials Skipworth tried to touch her inappropriately as they drove from Alabama to Tyler. She says she was snuck into Skipworth's bedroom window and remained in his room while she was there. She says she made several requests to go home, but Skipworth refused.

Officials say when interviewing Skipworth, he said he met the girl though the Instagram and Discord apps.

The child told investigators Skipworth sexually assaulted her multiple times while being hidden in his bedroom.

Skipworth is being held in the Smith County Jail on $650,000 bond.