A man has been arrested in Nebraska for the alleged kidnapping of a 13-year-old boy.
Aaron Zeman, 26, was taken into custody by the Grand Island Police Department after a gas station attendant flagged his vehicle on Wednesday. Officers found Mr Zeman, who also goes by the names Hunter Fox and Tadashi Kojima, and the victim inside the car, ABC affiliate NTV reported.
An Amber Alert had been issued for the teenager in Layton City, Utah, after he allegedly left his parents’ home late Monday evening to meet Mr Zeman, local police said in a statement.
The victim’s parents had told authorities that their son had had inappropriate sexual conversations with a man he met online while playing Roblox three weeks before his abduction, according to an affidavit obtained by NTV.
Mr. Zeman, originally from Arizona, was charged with kidnapping and resisting arrest.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Grand Island Police responded to a call for a suspicious Toyota Avalon at a Git ‘N Split gas station on Grand Island.
Mr. Zeman reportedly parked his vehicle before turning around and taking the wrong direction. He then returned to the gas station.
Responding officers examined the license plate and found it was linked to an Amber Alert issued from Layton City.
When police ordered him out of the vehicle, Mr Zeman refused to do so, NTV reported.
A close family friend had told Fox that Mr Zeman had asked the teenager to bring his passport with him before meeting him on Monday.
It’s believed the suspect was headed to either Arizona or Texas.
“You have an older man impersonating someone else, confusing a 13-year-old with minor things in life that he’s not aware of,” Beth Cooper told the network. “He still doesn’t understand why when someone asks you to leave your house, you don’t leave.”
She added: “He comes from a very loving home, a safe environment, he grew up with two loving parents his whole life.
“It’s just not one of those scenarios that he’s trying to run away from a bad home. He was manipulated by someone pretending to be someone he wasn’t.
Layton City police said Tuesday they are working to reunite the victim with his family.
A joint Layton City and Grand Island police investigation is underway.