A terrified 17-year-old girl was kidnapped at gunpoint, drugged, raped, and held hostage inside a storage unit in Cypress, Texas, for five days before making a harrowing escape- using the kidnapper’s cell phone.
According to KHOU, investigators say the teen was abducted by 34-year-old Joel Micah Arnold, who has been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault, and trafficking of a child.
Arnold lived in the same neighborhood as the victim and built a relationship with the teen before abducting her. Arnold allegedly took the girl by gunpoint and threatened to hurt her sister if she didn’t go with him on March 27. He then injected her with drugs and raped her inside a storage unit for days.
The terrified teen seized a moment to escape after Arnold left his phone out. The girl contacted a friend for help, and by the time Arnold realized what she had done- he fled the scene, and the teen ultimately escaped.
Law enforcement officials arrested Arnold on Wednesday, but Constable Alan Rosen said he believes there could be more victims.
“I would call it grooming, I absolutely would,” Rosen stated. “Anybody that takes advantage of a child like this, I want to make sure they get brought to justice. … We found a lot of physical evidence on him. We want to make sure after the public sees his picture that they weren’t somehow victimized by him as well,” Rosen said.