DETROIT – A 16-year-old girl who flew to the Middle East to see a man she met on MySpace.com was detained in Jordan and was headed home Friday, online an FBI spokesman said. U.S. officials persuaded Katherine Lester to take the return flight from Amman, stuff FBI Special Agent Robert Beeckman said from the agencyÃ¢??s Detroit office.
Lester had disappeared from her home in Gilford, in eastern Michigan, on Monday and apparently planned to visit a man whose MySpace account describes him as a 25-year-old from Jericho, said Tuscola County Undersheriff James Jashinske.
The sheriffÃ¢??s department contacted the FBI, which traced the teen to a flight from New York to Amman, Jashinske said. On Thursday night, her family received word from U.S. officials that she had been stopped as she arrived in Amman en route to Tel Aviv, Israel.
LesterÃ¢??s mother, Shawn Lester, said her daughter had persuaded her in April to help her get a passport so she could go on a two-week vacation to Canada with a friendÃ¢??s family. On Sunday, they drove to a bus station for that trip, but the family didnÃ¢??t show up. Shawn Lester said she called them, learned there was no trip and brought her daughter home. The next day, Katherine was gone.
Jashinske said it remained unclear whether any law had been violated. An online conversation with a 16-year-old is not illegal in Michigan, but solicitation for sex would be. He said deputies confiscated the familyÃ¢??s home computer and were taking it to the FBIÃ¢??s Bay City office Friday for analysis.
FBI spokesman Brian Endrizal declined to provide any details and would not comment on the manÃ¢??s identity or background. [source]