Call to cops for car help triggers man’s arrest; teen girl found in vehicle, officials say

National News

CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland-area man faces multiple charges after deputies said he called them for help with his car and they found a 13-year-old girl inside.

According to the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, 37-year-old Christopher Thomas Knox was driving a rental car late Friday night near Knappa, when he got stuck in the snow and called for help. 

When deputies arrived, they said they found a 13-year-old girl in the car whom Knox introduced as his daughter. According to deputies, the girl is not related to Knox, but she and her mother did know him.

The girl left her Seattle-area home without her parents’ permission, Knox abused her near her home, and then brought her to Oregon, authorities said. She was taken to a local hospital, then given back to her parents.

Now, investigators are asking for help from anyone who may have seen Knox and the victim together.

Knox may have sexually abused the girl on Friday, February 15, while stopped in a state park or rest area between Tacoma and Astoria, officials said.

Knox would have been driving a black 2018 Dodge Journey with California license plates, deputies said.

Knox, of Hillsboro, had recently been released from the Washington County Jail, after being arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and recklessly endangering a woman in Forest Grove, police said.

Knox was released from jail and was scheduled to be in court on that charge Wednesday, but as part of the release agreement, he wasn’t supposed to leave the state.

He is officially charged with online sexual corruption of a child and with luring a minor.

He may face additional charges, including attempted rape, custodial interference, and violation of release agreement.

The investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ryan Humphrey at the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, 503-338-3633 or by email at rhumphrey@co.clatsop.or.us

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