A Buena Vista man was charged with kidnapping Friday in the case of a child who was reported missing Feb. 16 and found the next day in Poncha Springs, according to a press release from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office.
The release reported a passerby noticed a child at the Poncha Springs Visitor Center Feb. 17, who matched the description of the missing person and called police. Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said the passerby had heard about the missing child through the media.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the location, contacted the child and determined the child was in fact the one reported missing.
The ensuing investigation culminated in the arrest Friday of Jason Andrew Harter, 34.
Harter has been charged with second-degree kidnapping, a Class 2 felony; sex assault, a Class 3 felony; enticement of a child, a Class 4 felony; and child abuse, a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Harter was transported to the Chaffee County Detention Facility, where he was held without bond.
The sheriff’s office reported that it is believed the two met on social media or a dating app.
“For parents and kids, you have to be very careful on social media,” Spezze said. “I think it’s important for parents to really monitor what their kids are doing (online).”