• Deputies: Orange County girl, 11, found with abductor at Georgia hotel

    By: Jason Kelly , Steve Barrett


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An 11-year-old Orange County girl was found Sunday afternoon at a Georgia hotel room with a 24-year-old Illinois man who had abducted her, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said.

    The girl was reported missing at about 9 a.m. Sunday, but investigators believe she disappeared Saturday night from a subdivision near University Boulevard and North Econlockhatchee Trail, deputies said.

    Investigators said they tracked the girl's cellphone while she was traveling with John Peter Byrns, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. 

    Deputies said he drove all the way from the Chicago area to meet the girl.

    "I would say she's lucky to be alive," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Tuesday during a news conference. "She's lucky that the circumstances aren't any worse than what they are."

    Investigators said Monday that Byrns posed as a girl while communicating with the victim through several Playstation games and over the phone.

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    At about 2 p.m. Sunday, Orange County deputies contacted Bibb County deputies, who were contacted by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent two hours later, officials said.

    Byrns and the girl were found shortly before 6 p.m. at a Holiday Inn Express and Suites near Macon, Georgia, deputies said.

    Investigators said charges are pending against Byrns, who is being held at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center.

    The girl was reunited with her parents Sunday evening. She was not physically hurt.

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    Watch below: Orange County deputies give update on suspect arrested:

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