FAUQUIER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced that they have taken a former Virginia House of Delegates candidate into custody for allegedly abducting a 12-year-old girl in California.
In a national and multi-agency investigation, Fresno County Sheriff’s Department announced that 40-year-old Nathan Daniel Larson of Catlett, Virginia, was arrested and facing a misdemeanor charge of harboring a minor. He is currently in Denver County Jail.
However, an investigation has led to the man now facing additional felony charges in Fresno County for kidnapping, child abduction, soliciting child pornography from a minor, and meeting a child for the intention of sex.
Larson is scheduled for a court hearing in Denver on Dec. 24. and will have an extradition request and be transported to Fresno County Jail. If he’s convicted, Larson faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
On Monday, Dec. 14, the 12-year-old girl was reported missing to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and Fresno Police Department.
During the early part of the investigation, detectives were able to gather information that the girl was potentially coerced to run away with the older man after meeting on social media in mid-October.
“This particular case is extremely disturbing, very far reaching across our nation,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
The information pointed detectives to the Fresno Yosemite International Airport where the girl was taking a cross-country flight to Virginia to be with the man.
According to detectives, Larson made the child wear a long-haired wig to make her look older and told her to act disabled.
Larson also allegedly asked the girl to act as though she couldn’t speak in the airport.
The detectives handed over the investigation to the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force due to the nature of the crime.
With assistance from the Fresno Airport Police and Homeland Security Investigations, the man was revealed to be Larson after being seen with the young girl before boarding a plane with Washington D.C. as its destination.
Fresno Airport Police Chief Drew Bessinger says his agency’s video evidence helped detectives find Larson and rescue the girl.
“We are very proud that we were able to play a role in this. The cooperative effort of all of our law enforcement agencies truly saved this child’s life,” he said.
The flight was shown to have a layover in Denver and detectives quickly contacted law enforcement in Denver to check the airport for the child.
A Denver Police Officer assigned to the local FBI Task Force was able to locate Larson and arrest him.
The girl was rescued and returned to her family in Fresno uninjured.
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Fauquier County Sheriff’s detectives and other agencies seized devices while executing a search warrant from Larson’s home in Catlett, Va. During the search, Larson’s 69-year-old father, Arthur Larson, was arrested for assault and battery of an HSI agent. He was later released after posting bond.
According to detectives, the investigation showed Larson possessed a disturbing background as a white supremacist and a well-known advocate for pedophilia.
The investigation also revealed that Larson runs a website that encourages the raping of children and sharing photos and videos of children being raped.
Fresno Sheriff’s Office said Larson was able to convince the 12-year-old Fresno girl to send pornographic images of herself through grooming and manipulation.
In 2017, Larson ran for the Virginia House of Delegates as an independent representing District 31 and went on to lose the race.
In Dec. 2008, Larson sent a detailed email to the U.S. Secret Service threatening to kill the President of the United States. This was during the White House transition between George Bush and Barack Obama. Larson pleaded guilty in federal court in October 2009 and was sentenced to 16 months in prison and served 14 months total.
Detectives believe Larson has victimized other children in the past and those cases have never been reported to law enforcement. They ask parents to be aware of what websites and social media their children are clicking on.
“Teach children to be wary of the person on the other end of that chat line. Many times, people are not who they say they are, and believe me, they can be very, very charming,” said Fresno County Sheriff Mims.
They encourage those who have had inappropriate contact with Larson to call Fresno County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Brandon Pursell at 559-600-8029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The live stream from Fresno County Sheriff’s Department can be watched here:
This is a breaking news story and will continue to be updated with more information.