BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) – Truck driver Darien McKinley is facing felony kidnapping charges after two juveniles were recovered in two separate locations over the weekend, including Bowling Green.
McKinley was arraigned from the Wood County jail by video on Monday. Bond was set at $85,000, and he was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims. The case was continued until he could consult with an attorney. He's scheduled to appear in court on June 18.
This past Saturday, the rest stop at milepost 179 on Interstate 75, 2 miles south of Bowling Green, became the site of a kidnapping rescue after a rest stop caretaker noticed a young girl distraught and by herself. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was called to help.
"Originally the trooper encountered a girl who was by herself at the truck stop. She told the trooper that she had been taken against her will earlier in the week in Kentucky and that she had been transported up through Ohio and in to Michigan and at some point another girl was picked up on the way who was still with the truck driver. The truck driver had dropped her off at the truck stop and had continued south with, at that point, the other unidentified juvenile," said Dave Dustin of the FBI.
Now, the FBI is looking into human trafficking charges against the truck driver after two girls from the Louisville, Kentucky area- ages 16 and 17- were recovered by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers and it was discovered there was evidence of forced sexual activity.
With descriptions from the 17-year-old girl, the highway patrol was able to locate the other 16-year-old female and 30-year-old Darien McKinley of Georgia in Shelby County, near Dayton, less than 2 hours later.
"The truck driver right now is being charged with kidnapping because it appears at least one of the girls was with him for a period of time and did not want to be with him, she was being held against her will. The initial investigation indicates that there was some forced sexual activity with third parties which is kind of what got us involved with this and the possibility of there being human trafficking involved," Dustin explained.
McKinley faces the possibility of federal charges if human trafficking is found to be the case, but the FBI and highway patrol says their number one priority was the girls being found safe.
"Number one is to rescue these children, these are victims. Sometimes they leave of their own free will but at some point they no longer want to be with the person and they're continually abused by these individuals so rescuing the victims is always our first priority. Being able to find the person, the victimizer, that's always just kind of a benefit for us," Dustin said.
The case is currently under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the FBI in Toledo and Dayton.