20-Year-Old Abducted A Teenage Girl In Virginia, Now He Faces Abduction Charges

Source: Leesburg police; MEGA

Sep. 2 2022, Published 10:04 a.m. ET

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A 16-year-old girl was taken by an older man in Virginia, police said. She was later found safe, and now he faces abduction charges.

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Around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, police in Leesburg, Virginia, responded to a suspicious event. Officers determined that an altercation happened between Joel Hernandez-Melendez, 20, and Yelsi Mendez-Chicas, 16.

Hernandez-Melendez then took the teen by force, according to police.

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Two days later, police reported that Mendez-Chicas was found safe. Police did not say where she was found.

On Sept. 1, officials said that Hernandez-Melendez was taken into custody in Newport News, Virginia. He is being held in jail without bond on charges of abduction and assault and battery.

Investigators did not say if the two knew each other before the incident.


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