SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 23-year-old man is facing federal charges for sex with a minor after investigators said he kidnapped a Spring Hill teen he met on Snapchat and took her to Texas.
The alleged kidnapping is believed to have happened on or around Jan. 25, according to an affidavit by an FBI special agent.
Spring Hill police told federal investigators a 16-year-old girl had left home with an unknown person in a Jeep either that evening or early in the morning the next day.
When police spoke with the teen’s stepmother, she quickly identified Drew Roden as a possible suspect. According to police, the teen’s stepmother said she had been in a romantic relationship with Roden and had left home with him before.
Authorities interviewed the 16-year-old girl’s sister and learned she and a friend texted Roden on Feb. 1 asking him to bring her sister home. They offered to pay for an Uber and Roden requested $50, according to the affidavit.
However, no cash was ever exchanged, and the teen did not return home.
According to records provided by Enterprise Rental Car Company, Roden rented a Jeep Compass on Jan. 12 in Tullahoma. About two weeks later, on Jan. 26, Roden returned the car and rented a Nissan Rogue at the Nashville Airport.
On Feb. 1, the Nissan Rogue was repossessed by Enterprise in Houston, Texas. Only a day later, authorities said the Spring Hill Police Department obtained location pings from Roden’s cell phone that showed he was in Houston.
Later that afternoon, federal investigators spotted Roden and the 16-year-old girl walking down South Main Street and King Street. They were both detained and questioned.
In a Child Adolescent Forensic Interview, the teen said she met Roden around Christmas time last year after he reached out to her on Snapchat. According to the affidavit, Roden knew she was 16 years old at the time.
The teen said he would pick her up and she would ride with him while he worked as a DoorDash driver. On Jan. 25, the affidavit said they both fell asleep in Roden’s car after he worked a shift in Nashville.
After experiencing car troubles the next morning, the two reportedly decided to leave town together.
The teen told investigators they stayed at a hotel together the night before their rental car was repossessed in Texas. During an interview with Roden, authorities said he admitted he was in a sexual relationship with the teen.
“Roden stated people did not agree with their relationship, and he believed if they left Tennessee, they could be together, and everyone would leave them alone,” the FBI agent said in the affidavit.
Roden was taken into custody and charged with one count of interstate travel with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years and a maximum fine of $250,000.