A Virginia man abducted a 12-year-old Manheim Township girl he met online, and took her to a Harrisburg Pike hotel late Friday afternoon.

Police located the girl and man a short time later, and took the man into custody.

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The abduction happened at about 4 p.m. Friday near the Belair Town Homes development off Delp Road.

The man had met the girl online and had been communicating with her via text messages and chat rooms, and had arranged to meet her, Manheim Township Police spokesman Sgt. Tom Rudzinski said in a press release.

The man admitted to investigators that he knew the girl was 12 years old, and that he had come to Lancaster to have sexual contact with her, police said.

Police charged Nelson E. Hercules Jr., 30, of Caxton Court, Virginia Beach, with a long list of offenses, including attempted rape of a child, indecent assault, kidnapping of a minor and others.

The girl's mother said that she called police soon after her daughter never came home from school Friday afternoon.

The mother said she came home from work Friday at the normal time, at around 3 p.m., around the same time that her daughter usually gets off the school bus and comes home.

The mother told police her daughter had been seen getting into a car and then leaving the area in a vehicle driven by a man who the mother did not know.

"All I did was call the cops and everybody responded," she said.

A description of the girl, the vehicle, and the suspect was broadcast to all police units in the area after the girl was reported missing.

Within 30 minutes, Manheim Township officers located the vehicle at a hotel on the Harrisburg Pike in Manheim Township, and determined that the owner was a registered guest.

Officers then found both the suspect and the girl inside one of the rooms.

The mother said her family did not know the man.

"I have never seen this man in my life," said the mother, who said her family moved to Lancaster County from California about 10 months ago.

She originally told a reporter the man had taken her daughter to a hotel in Harrisburg. She said she is not familiar with the area.

She was greatly relieved her daughter was found.

"They did what they had to do to bring my baby back home," she said.

Parents should have conversations with their children about predators and online dangers, and they should be encouraged to tell an adult if somebody tries to get personal or have sexually suggestive conversations with them, Rudzinski said.

They should also tell an adult if somebody makes them feel uncomfortable. Parents should monitor the activity of their children, both text messages and online, he said.

Hercules also was charged with unlawful contact with a minor, interference with the custody of a minor, corruption of a minor, and crime use of a communication facility.

All of the crimes he was charged with are felonies. He was arraigned and committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Cindy Stauffer is a Lancaster Newspapers staff writer. She can be reached at cstauffer@lnpnews.com or (717) 481-6024. You can also follow @cindystauffer on Twitter.

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