California teen reunited with family after being kidnapped by man she met online

A teenager is back home with her family in Rialto after allegedly being kidnapped by a man she met online.  

Her family reported her missing to Rialto Police on April 30. According to her family, they were concerned after learning from friends that their 17-year-old daughter was talking to a man she met online. That man has been identified as 24-year-old Elijah Clark.  

On May 2, the teen didn’t return home and police began actively searching for her. During the investigation a detective was able to get info related to a phone number with a New York City area code. The detective then received a text message from the phone she believed belonged to Clark. The message, written by the victim, said she needed help and Clark was refusing to let her leave.  

Rialto Police called the New York Police Department with information about Clark’s possible home address. NYPD officers went to the house to attempt to make contact with Clark. Officers were soon able to take Clark into custody and rescue the young teen.  

Clark is facing several criminal charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment, injury to a minor, strangulation, assault on a police officer, and multiple weapons charges.  

On May 10, the teen returned home and was reunited with her parents. Rialto police are recommending additional charges against the suspect.