Two missing Jones County juveniles were found and returned home safe, and 44 year-old Johnathan Harrelson was charged with statutory rape and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“This arrest is the result of the efforts of dozens of law enforcement agencies, in particular, the Ellisville Police Department and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, and we are immensely grateful for their assistance,” Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin told WDAM.
Two girls, ages 12 and 13, were reported as runaways. Investigators say that Harrelson actually picked up the girls from separate residences before traveling with them all over southern Mississippi.
Both girls were found in Jasper County on Sunday morning. Harrelson had dropped them off at a convenience store in Stringer, Miss.
“The investigation is far from over,” Jasper County Investigator Sgt. J.D. Carter said. “Anyone who knowingly hindered this investigation and/or was complicit in the crimes committed against these two girls will face charges as well.”
Harrelson made his initial appearance in Jones County Justice Court on Sunday and bonded out later the same day. He was given a $100,000 bond.See a typo? Report it here.