FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A 33-year-old man is accused of sexual assault on a child, after he and a missing Texas 14-year-old girl were found in a Treasure Coast hotel.
According to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, the two were located Monday afternoon at the Fort Pierce Sleep Inn, after an Amber Alert had been issued for the teen in Texas. West reportedly had two loaded pistols in his possession.
"St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives and FBI agents took Jacob Daniel West into custody around 1:30 p.m. outside the Sleep Inn Hotel, (in) Fort Pierce," St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said. "Mr. West had two loaded semiautomatic pistols when he was apprehended. A juvenile female was with Mr. West. She was unharmed. The Florida Department of Children and Families has been notified. She is awaiting her return to Texas where she lives."
The teenager's mother, Jan Nixon, said she thinks she knows why they landed in Fort Pierce.
"Jacob's dad's ex-wife lived in Florida somewhere," said Nixon. "We were friends, and he treated her like a daughter at first. He's got two kids of his own, and he treated her like a daughter. And then they started texting, and stuff like that."
Nixon admits the family was allowing him to stay at their house for a couple of weeks while he faced some problems, but she didn't realize the two had formed such a close relationship.
"We couldn't understand it," she said. "We just didn't see it. He more or less conned us."
West was traveling in a 2005 GMC Envoy S. U. V. Sheriff's investigators have impounded the vehicle and are seeking a search warrant to examine the vehicle.
Participating in the investigation in Houston, Texas, were the United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force and the FBI Houston Division Violent Crime Task Force.
Information received by law enforcement led sheriff's detectives and FBI agents to the hotel where West was taken into custody. He is charged with being a fugitive from justice from the State of Texas on a charge of sexual assault on a child under 17 years of age. He also faces two charges in St. Lucie County: Lewd and lascivious behavior to a victim between 12 and 16 years old and grand theft of a firearm.
Nixon said she is glad her daughter was found safe.
"I started crying," said Nixon. "I was excited. I can't wait to go get my baby."
West is currently in the St. Lucie County Jail in Fort Pierce.