• Local missionary admitted to molestation, making child porn, officials say


    SANFORD, Fla. - Federal agents said a local missionary admitted to molesting children and making child pornography.

    Warren Scott Kennell, who claims to belong to New Tribes Mission in Sanford, was arrested at Orlando International Airport Friday.

    Investigators said they found pictures of him molesting a young girl.

    WFTV reporter Jeff Deal spoke with federal agents about the bust.

    Investigators said Kennell admitted to molesting four children, all around the age of 12, and took pictures of them.

    An official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they received a tip that Kennel was posting questionable photos on the Internet.

    "We received information that made us aware of this individual and we conducted that secondary inspection as a result," said Public Affairs Officer Carissa Cutrell.

    Investigators said when they confronted him at the airport, he initially denied any connection to child porn.

    When investigators opened his bag, they said they found a hard drive containing pornographic images of children.

    Kennell admitted he was in one of the photos molesting a young girl, investigators said.

    WFTV found photos of Kennell online, posing with children and the New Tribes Mission logo. He appears to go by his middle name "Scott."

    His New Tribes Mission biography describes Kennell as a language teacher who grew up in Brazil, and is the son of missionaries. He went back to Brazil in 1994 as a missionary, according to his biography.

    "I just think it's wrong, especially someone who is supposed to be preaching the word and talking to people," said Sanford mother Denisha Powell.

    New Tribes Mission sent a statement, saying it is "heartsick at the thought that children have been victimized."

    Kennell has been placed on leave.

    Investigators have not said if he met the children through his work as a missionary.

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