On March 19, the Tell City Police Department contacted the Kokomo Police Department regarding the teenager boy who was reported missing the day prior, according to a press release from the Kokomo Police Department.
Officers launched an investigation and the teen was located at a residence in Kokomo. He was then transported to a hospital for evaluation, police said.
A warrant was obtained and police searched the home and took several electronic devices as evidence. The Kokomo Police Department Forensic Computer Lab reportedly found “suspected child sexual abuse material” on one of the devices, which allegedly belonged to Michael Horne, 53, police said.
Investigators used a residential security system to help trace Horne and the missing teen after they saw video footage that allegedly showed Horne’s vehicle in the area where the teen went missing, according to WXIN-TV.
Officers went to Horne’s home, but he allegedly said nobody else was inside with him, WXIN-TV reported. Officers, however, searched the house and found the missing teen in the bathroom.
He allegedly looked “very lethargic” and “out of it,” police said. He also appeared to have a hickey on his neck, WXIN-TV reported.
According to Horne, the teen approached him at a gas station and asked if he could stay with him, investigators said. When asked, the teen had no recollection of getting the hickey.
Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.
During the investigation, photos of the teen and Horne in Horne’s Tesla and a naked picture of the teen were allegedly found by investigators, officials said.
Officers asked Horne if they would find his DNA on the victim and Horne replied, “Well…” and asked for a lawyer, WXIN-TV reported.
Horne was arrested and booked into jail on a $25,000 bond. He was charged with promotion of child sexual trafficking, but officials said there will likely be additional charges.
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.