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OFFICE: (912) 537-9203
FAX: (912) 537-4477
WVOP: (912) 537-9202
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A Stephens County, Georgia,  teen is back at home at home and the man who allegedly helped her runaway has been  arrested and charged with her departure.

Shannon Edward Gault, 32, of Vidalia was arrested on September 10, the same day that the parents of a 16-year-old juvenile notified Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley that their daughter was missing.    The Sheriff deduced that the juvenile had been messaging Gault for some time online through Facebook, and two arranged for Gault to pick her up at her residence last Thursday after  her parents left for work.

After gathering information, Stephens County law enforcement entered a description of Gault’s vehicle, a grey Kia Optima, into the Georgia Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center and an Amber Alert was activated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Less than an hour after law enforcement went into action,  Ashburn Police in Turner County observed a vehicle with that description with two occupants in it, and made a traffic stop where Gault and the teenager were positively identified.  Gault was arrested and the girl returned to the custody of her parents.

The Stephens County Sheriff's Office confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Gault was extradited back to the Stephens County Jail in Toccoa where he is being held without bond. He is charged with statutory rape, interstate and intrastate interference with custody, and aggravated child molestation.

In addition to the law enforcement agencies previously identified, the Department of Juvenile Justice is also working on the case.

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