Truck driver arrested after police find he was transporting a missing girl
PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – A truck driver from Virginia appeared in federal court in Providence on Monday, on a charge of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity.
The driver, 50-year-old David Romero Reyes, of Stafford, Virginia, was detained by Naval Station Newport Police on April 2, 2021, when a background check determined that he was wanted in Texas for felony assault of a child.
He was charged in U.S District Court in Providence after an investigation determined that Reyes allegedly had sexual contact in several states with a 15-year-old girl who was found in the sleeping compartment of his tractor-trailer.
The girl was reported missing from her Virginia home in July of 2020. She was 14-years-old at the time.
The girl entered the country as an unaccompanied minor in February of 2020, where she was detained by U.S Customer and Border Patrol and placed in a U.S Department of Health and Human Services facility.
HHS documents found in the truck that she was removed from a Houston, Texas facility in May of 2020 by Reyes, who identified himself as a distant relative.
An investigation by the FBI and Rhode Island State Police determined that Reyes is a long-time friend of the girl’s father who lives in El Salvador, and is a distant cousin.
The young girl eventually left Texas with Reyes and was living with a relative of his.
After a family member became aware that Reyes and the girl allegedly had a sexual relationship, Reyes was reported to the police.
Shortly after, the girl left home on a bicycle and was picked up nearby by Reyes. She was then reported missing and had not been seen since.
According to court documents, Reyes and the girl admitted to traveling together and having sexual contact in multiple states.
It was determined by investigators that Reyes, using the name David Romero, traveled in or through Rhode Island at least six different times between February and April.