MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 65-year-old John Martin Kelly III, for harboring an 11-year-old female runaway. Kelly was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he was located at a convenience store in Melbourne.
The investigation started early Wednesday morning after the child’s guardian reported her missing from her home. Deputies said the child encountered Kelly in the area of the Northgate Shopping Plaza off Wickham Road and confided in him that she was running away from home.
Deputies said Kelly then bought food for the child and offered to let her stay with him in his van as he was homeless. According to an investigation, Kelly told the child that he would not contact law enforcement or her family and then drove her to a wooded area.
The girl ran from the van after Kelly fell asleep, deputies said. She was then located around 9 a.m. walking along Wickham Road and was safely returned to her family.
Kelly is charged with interference with child custody and is being held at the Brevard County Jail on a $2,000 bond.
Anyone who may have information about this investigation is asked to please call Agent Stacie Moore of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Special Victims Unit, at 321-633-8419 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).