Posted: May 13, 2013 4:32 PM
Updated: May 13, 2013 4:38 PM
UPDATE: Hezlitt was sentenced Monday to 6 years in prison.
TUCSON - There was a big catch for local law enforcement when a missing Tucson girl was found safe in Mexico. The man accused of kidnapping her was also caught.
Todd Hezlitt was arrested in April for sexual misconduct with a minor. In May, detectives said he skipped town with 15-year-old Brooke White. Then, in June, there was a warrant for his arrest after Hezlitt missed a court date.
It was a scary situation for everyone involved. There were a lot of things going against law enforcement, but it's being called a success because they overcame all of them.
Sgt Gerard Moretz with the Pima County Sheriff's Department said, "There's a tremendous sense of relief because of the unpredictability of the case where someone begins taking high-risk steps to evade capture."
There was relief particularly when Hezlitt's past was factored in.
Moretz said, "In this case there was that concern about familiarity with weapons and comfort in desert surroundings and things like that that would contribute to efforts to stay hidden."
Deputies said the fact they overcame those skills and a move to Mexico, was impressive.
Moretz said, "The teamwork and seeing different agencies come together to try and find these people was remarkable in this case."
The Sheriff's Department said capturing Hezlitt at the same time as recovering the young girl was just an added bonus. The main priority was and is the safe return of Brooke White.
She is expected back in the states and to be reunited with her family sometime this weekend.
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