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Man caught in Arkansas with missing teen appears in court

Posted: April 24, 2014 at 5:11 p.m.

A New Jersey man who met a 14-year-old girl in New Mexico and left the state with her before being caught in Arkansas appeared Thursday in a federal court on one count of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.

Robert Joseph Butler, 26, started communicating with the girl for more than a year before meeting her for the first time in New Mexico in 2013, according to the news release.

They stayed in touch and met again earlier this month before agreeing to leave the state, according to the news release. They were caught in Arkansas after traveling through Texas and Oklahoma and engaging in sexual activity, according to the statement.

The Crawford County sheriff's office, the FBI and the U.S. Marshal's Service are investigating the case.

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