An Oregon man accused of luring a 13-year-old girl from her home was arrested Tuesday after a rental vehicle he was in with the teen got stuck in deep snow and he had to call for help, authorities said.
Christopher Thomas Knox, 37, of Hillsboro, first told responding Clatsop County Sheriff’s deputies the girl was his daughter, Sheriff Tom Bergin said. But authorities soon learned she was from the Seattle-area and was with Knox without her parents’ knowledge, Bergin said.
Knox is believed to have sexually abused the teen near her home on Feb. 15 and then a second time at a rest stop or state park somewhere between Tacoma, Wash., and Astoria, Ore., Bergin said. The pair was traveling in a black 2018 Dodge Journey and may have been spotted by travelers outside the vehicle wrapped up in a blanket, Bergin said.
The girl has since been taken to a local hospital for an exam and returned to her parents in Washington.
Knox made a court appearance Tuesday and did not enter a plea on charges of online sexual corruption of a minor and luring a minor, according to court documents. He was being held on $250,000 bail.
Knox may face more charges as authorities in Oregon and Washington continue to investigate, Bergin said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.