He tracked down her location on Snapchat, police say.
Anthony Alvin Hodges, 35, has been charged with several crimes after allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl he groomed on Snapchat. He managed to track the child down after using the location feature on the social media app, police say.
He faces multiple charges including four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13, two counts HIV-knowingly engaging in intercourse with intent to inflict uninformed partner, as well as a count of being a habitual offender.
On the morning on August 19, Allen Park Police responded when the girl's parents reported her missing. Officers found her six hours later, when she admitted she was on her way to see her older boyfriend. It later emerged that the two had planned to run away together.
According to police, Hodges had struck up a conversation with the girl on Snapchat when she was just 11, and began communicating with her for a number of weeks.
"It's our belief and our understanding at this point that he found her due to the location sharing ability of Snapchat; that's how he was able to pinpoint her home," Detective James Thorburn said, per Fox2Detroit.
During interviews, the girl claimed they had been having sex for several weeks. He had not told her he was HIV positive.
She told detectives that she had initially thought he was 19, but later believed he may have been in his 40s after meeting him on a number of occasions.
According to Michigan Department of Corrections records, Hodges was sentenced to two years in prison last February for attempting to infect a sexual partner with HIV in 2016 — but was paroled.
"We very well believe that there are other victims out there. He's had other allegations against him in the past and I would find it hard to believe there aren't other victims out there," Detective Thorburn said.
He urged parents to keep an eye on who their children are talking to on Snapchat, and to ensure it is set on 'ghost mode', so their location cannot be tracked.
"These platforms allow for interaction between people that normally would never have interaction - they'd never come in contact with each other," he said.
"Obviously we can't watch things 24/7, that's reasonable and I understand that; however, every once in awhile - check-in. And see who they are talking to and where they might be going."
He added: "It disgusts you as a cop, as a parent, as a human... Especially me being a father myself and a police officer at the same time. We really have to be vigilant... Social media platforms are great. They can be used for good or used for evil. This is an instance where it took a turn for the evil."
Hodges is being held without bond at Oakland County Jail.