BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — A registered sex offender has been charged with abducting a 12-year-old girl last week, according to Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch.
Lynch said Chandler Cardente, 27, of Cranston, picked the Burrillville Middle School student up after dismissal on Friday.
“She went out to the soccer field, through the woods and to Cardente in his waiting vehicle on the side of Route 102,” Lynch said.
The girl’s family reported her missing after she did not return home from school, according to Lynch.
Lynch said the girl was found curled up on the side of the road in Warwick early Saturday morning.
An investigation into her disappearance revealed the girl had been lured into Cardente’s vehicle after chatting with him online, where Lynch said he posed as a 17-year-old.
“The relationship between Cardente and the girl had started back in July,” Lynch said.
Cardente was convicted of first-degree child molestation in 2014 and is registered as a Level 3 sex offender in Rhode Island, according to Lynch.
Upon learning police were searching for him, Lynch said Cardente pulled over and forced the girl out of his vehicle before driving off.
“We believe that Cardente kicked her out of the car around 9:30 p.m., so you’re looking at a minimum of seven hours [they were] together on Friday evening,” Lynch said.
Detectives are still investigating what exactly happened during the time that Cardente and the girl were alone together.
Cardente has been charged with child snatching and enticing a child. Lynch said he’s currently being held as a probation violator at the ACI.