Mississippi man, 44, charged after allegedly picking up underage girls from homes, driving them around state

Published 9:53 pm Sunday, September 11, 2022

A 44-year-old Mississippi man has been charged with rape after he reportedly picked up a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old girl Friday night and traveled around the state with them until the missing girls were found Sunday morning.

Jones County Sheriff’s Office deputies first announced the underage girls had been found safe after earlier alerting the public to their being missing and seeking the public’s help to locate them.

Then, later Sunday deputies announced the arrest of Jonathan Harrelson, 44, of Jasper County. He was charged with statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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Harrelson allegedly picked up each girl from their houses on Friday night without their parents’ knowledge.

He apparently drove them across the southern part of Mississippi before dropping them off at a convenience store in Jasper County early Sunday.