Man busted for luring 16-year-old runaway, soliciting her for ‘lewd acts’

STARKE, FL – On Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at approximately 8:55 AM Officers with the Starke Police Department took a report of a missing 15-year-old female who had not shown up for school.

Through the investigation, officers determined that the female had left of her own free will and intended to run away. Officers and Detectives, with the assistance of the child’s parents, determined that the child had planned to run away and was assisted by another person in leaving the area.

Detectives were able to identify that person as 23-year-old Adam Lee Nelson of Pensacola, Florida.

At approximately 5:35 PM the 15-year-old girl was recovered by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office near the residence of Nelson. The child was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice for holding until she could be reunited with her parents.

Detectives continued to investigate the relationship between Nelson and the child. On Thursday, February 11, 2021 Detectives with the Starke Police Department obtained a warrant for Adam Lee Nelson DOB 08/07/1997 for the following charges.

  • Count 1: Interference with Child Custody (3rd degree felony)
  • Count 2: Solicit person under 16 years old to commit lewd acts (3rd degree felony)
  • Count 3: Traveling to meet a minor after using a computer to lure (2nd degree felony)

Nelson’s bond was set at $2,000,000 total. On the afternoon of February 11, 2021 the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office made contact with Nelson and arrested him on the warrant. Nelson is pending extradition back to Bradford County.

Chief Jeff Johnson stated “The Starke Police Department has, and will continue, to make it clear we will not tolerate those who intend to victimize the children of our community. Children are often targeted due to being easy to manipulate and entice. We will make it hard for you here in Starke. I am proud of the hard work of our officers and thankful this young lady was recovered safely. Thank you to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case”.