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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014
Crime & Courts

Police: Boy abducted by Tampa man returning home


Published:   |   Updated: June 12, 2013 at 05:44 PM

TAMPA - The 14-year-old boy who was abducted by a Tampa man and was on board a flight from California to Tampa with the man will return back to California today, the Tampa Police Department said.

The boy will reunite with family in Escondido, Calif., which is outside of San Diego.

The boy flew on a cross-country flight on Tuesday morning from Long Beach, Calif., to Tampa with Ybor City resident Tony McLeod. Tampa police charged McLeod on Tuesday night with kidnapping, interfering with custody, traveling to meet a minor and transmission of harmful material to a minor.

McLeod, 36, is being held at a Hillsborough County jail with no bail.

Through an online game, McLeod formed a relationship in May with the California boy. McLeod eventually used his cell phone to send naked photos of himself to the boy's cell phone, Tampa police said.

The boy's parents learned of the images and contacted McLeod. They also contacted the Escondido Police Department. Once Escondido police started to investigate, McLeod had changed his cell phone number and kept a low profile.

At 2 p.m. Monday, the boy's family reported him missing when he didn't return from school. Escondido police investigated and learned the boy and McLeod were on a flight from Long Beach, Calif., to Tampa. Escondido police contacted Tampa police asking detectives to meet the Delta Airlines plane that arrived at 6:09 a.m. Tuesday at Tampa International Airport.

Tampa police and federal agents walked on the plane after it landed at TIA and took McLeod and the boy in custody. The boy seemed safe and didn't appear harmed when officers came in contact with him, Tampa police said.

Tampa police charged McLeod late Tuesday night. Escondido police hasn't charged McLeod at this time.

jpatino@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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