A Franklin man now faces a federal charge after police say he took an 11-year-old girl from Illinois to Indiana for sex last month.
The girl said the two met while playing Xbox together online, court documents revealed. Those conversations led to additional online interactions and, according to police, prompted 19-year-old Dylan Clark to make an approximately four-hour roundtrip from Franklin, Indiana, to Georgetown, Illinois, to pick the girl up and bring her home.
Clark is charged federally with aggravated sexual abuse with a child under 12 years old, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. He had previously been arrested on a kidnapping charge out of Illinois.
The Vermilion County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Office reached out to investigators in Johnson County after sending an alert about the missing 11-year-old on Aug. 27. Investigators checked an address in Franklin, where they found the girl with Clark in the early morning hours of Aug. 28.
According to the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office, Clark drove his Ford Mustang from Franklin to Georgetown, Illinois, where he picked the girl up and came back to Franklin.
A warrant was then issued out of Vermilion County on a kidnapping charge. The Federal Bureau of Investigation became involved because Clark crossed state lines to pick up the girl and bring her to Indiana.
New documents filed in federal court reveal additional details about the case.
The 11-year-old girl told her father she was going to a friend’s house on Aug. 27. However, when her father contacted her friend, he learned his daughter never made it to their house and the friend didn’t know where she was.
At that point, investigators in Illinois believed they were investigating the disappearance of a child. They made emergency requests to find the email address tied to the girl’s Snapchat account. Investigators then gained access to her Snapchat, Gmail and Discord accounts, leading them to a transcript between the 11-year-old girl and another user on the chat service.
During the chat, the two exchanged photos; the girl asked the other user if he wanted to date or “talk more.” The other user responded with a map of his location; the girl replied with a map of a park in Georgetown, Illinois.
The other user initiated a voice call for approximately one hour, the contents of which are unknown in the court documents. On Discord, the user notified the girl he was less than an hour away. Both commented they were “nervous” about meeting.
Investigators were able to find Clark through a Spotify subscription associated with his Discord account that had his name (Dylan Clark) listed.
After doing some additional investigation, authorities in Vermilion County reached out to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana. Deputies in Johnson County were able to find the house in Franklin along with the gray Mustang Clark had driven to Illinois and back.
They approached the home in the early morning hours of Aug. 28 and knocked on the door, where they found Clark and the girl inside.
In the presence of deputies, Clark told his parents that he’d “picked up a girl from a park who he met online and that he should have never gone to do it,” according to body camera footage described in court documents.
During an Aug. 29 interview with the 11-year-old old girl, police learned the two had met while playing video games online and chatted together via headsets. She told investigators Clark picked her up in his Mustang and drove her to Indiana. She said they’d engaged in sexual intercourse on two occasions at the home.
Clark, according to court documents, told his parents that he’d met the 11-year-old girl in college.
He was initially taken into custody in Johnson County before being extradited to Illinois.