WELLFORD, S.C. (WNCN/WSPA) – A man who CBS 17 previously reported on for handing out fliers in Raleigh advertising part-time work for teens has been arrested after a routine traffic stop in South Carolina led to the discovery of a kidnapped 13-year-old girl.
Rahim Nader-Fayez Olabi, 22, caused Raleigh parents to be concerned over a year ago when he was recruiting teens to work part time with the Carolina Youth Club.
It turned out that the group was a legitimate nonprofit, but that Olabi was new. Jule Huston, the head of the Carolina Youth Club, told CBS 17 in April 2017 that Olabi should have asked for a parent before speaking with the children.
“Of course, program procedure is that before any child starts with the program, we definitely make sure that we get an application out to you so that the parents definitely have more knowledge about the program,” Huston said in 2017.
Olabi was arrested in South Carolina on Dec. 4 after a routine traffic stop. He is charged in South Carolina with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and traffic violations. A warrant from Raleigh police show they’re charging him with first-degree kidnapping and statutory rape of a child.
He’s being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
Officer R.A. Smith with the Wellford Police Department was driving southbound on Interstate 85 near mile marker 67 around lunch time when he noticed Olabi.
“I just watched his nervous behavior. He was watching what I was doing,” Smith said. “I watched him make an improper lane shift and thought I’d just stop and talk to him about it.”
Olabi’s passenger was a 13-year-old girl.
“Certainly her age was cause for concern,” Smith said. “There’s no logical reason that somebody with no relation should be traveling cross country with somebody with such a vast age difference without obviously a compelling story and this just wasn’t there.”
He said the girl’s attire was also a red flag.
“She was not dressed appropriately for the weather,” he said. “I was certainly cold standing on the side of the interstate. She was not dressed appropriately; was very scantily clad.”
Wellford Police Chief David Green said the girl seemed to have an answer to all their questions, initially keeping her story aligned with Olabi’s saying they were headed to San Antonio, Texas.
“Said he [Olabi] had permission from the girl’s grandmother to take her out of state,” Green recalled. He added that their investigation revealed that wasn’t true.
He said the girl’s grandmother believed she was in school and had not reported her missing. Investigators learned she left Raleigh with Olabi, who’s from Charlotte, the night after the two talked on social media.
“After some interviewing, she did break down and say that she was a runaway and that she left her home to travel with this male to Texas but she was unaware of some of the other stops in between,” Green said. “He did admit that he was coming at first from Charlotte to Atlanta, and then on down to Texas.
Green said it was a telltale sign of human trafficking.
“Something as simple as a minor traffic stop turned into what’s later to become a missing child that had been taken under false pretenses,” Green said. He added that Olabi is also being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.
“Human trafficking is real. It’s not just the van full of people going to and from different places. It’s little girls and little boys that are taken from their home,” Green said, adding if people notice strange situations they should speak up.
Smith encourages parents to pay close attention to their children’s social media activities.
“I’m certainly glad that God put me in the right place to make that stop,” said Officer Smith. “I don’t know what her fate would’ve been.”