MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said the two teenage girls who went missing from Andover, Minn. have been found safe in Burnsville.
Authorities with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said detectives used “digital forensic methods” to identify and locate a suspect in the case. Based off those methods, officials from Anoka County, with assistance from the Burnsville Police Department, went to a home on the 2400 block of Hayes Court in Burnsville on Tuesday.READ MORE: Governor Walz: State To Begin Administering Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Booster Shots
Officers entered the home and found the two girls, unharmed, inside the residence. A 23-year-old man, later identified as Casey Lee Chinn, was also present in the home and was taken into custody.
In a press release Tuesday morning, officials said the two 13-year-old girls, who are neighbors, were last seen at about 7:45 p.m. Monday. An initial investigation showed the two girls had been communicating with unknown men through social media and text messaging, which gave authorities grave concerns about their safety.
Cdr. Paul Sommer, of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, tweeted around 11:20 a.m. that the girls had been located and were safe.
“They probably left willingly — if you can say that about a 13-year-old. But it doesn’t look as if they were forcibly kidnapped,” Sommer said.
The mother and stepfather of one of the girls described the terrifying night.READ MORE: Wisconsin Audit Finds Elections Are 'Safe And Secure'
“Immediately, I knew something was wrong within 15 minutes to a half hour,” the mother said. “It was hard. I haven’t slept a wink.”
It’s a case investigators say should be a warning to parents.
“The scope of people that can influence your children nowadays is no longer contained by their physical environment,” Sommer said. “With the onset of internet and applications, they can have worldwide reach.”
Investigators interviewed the two girls for most of the day Tuesday.
Last year, Chinn worked for the South Washington School District as a junior varsity baseball coach for East Ridge High School. The school issued a statement Tuesday, saying they are extremely concerned about the situation and is doing everything they can do to keep children safe.MORE NEWS: University of Minnesota Will Require Proof Of Vaccination For Employees
Chinn has not been charged yet.