Andrew Evan Howland

Andrew Evan Howland, 38, of Lancaster city, was arrested for kidnapping a 13-year-old girl in Indiana and bringing her back to sexually assault her in Lancaster County, the district attorney's office said. 

Dec. 10 update: Howland waived his preliminary hearing and all charges were bound over to court, the district attorney's office said. He has a formal arraignment scheduled for Jan. 8. 

A Lancaster city man drove to Indiana to kidnap a 13-year-old girl, and then brought her back to Lancaster County, the Lancaster County District Attorney's office said. 

Andrew Evan Howland, 38, was arrested on Wednesday night at a Comfort Inn hotel in Columbia, where West Hempfield police found him with the girl.

The district attorney's office said that the girl was reported as a runaway to the Jefferson County Sherriff's office in Indiana. 

Howland kidnapped the girl after pursuing her online, according to the district attorney's office. 

Howland kidnapped the girl around 1 a.m. on Tuesday night, the district attorney's office said. He then took the girl to two different Comfort Inns in Lancaster County− one on Champ Boulevard, and one on Abel Drive. 

"The investigation uncovered online communication between Howland and the girl which revealed Howland’s plan to bring the girl to Lancaster County and sexually assault her," the district attorney's office said in a press release. 

West Hempfield Township police, the Lancaster County District Attorney's office, Lancaster County detectives and law enforcement in Indiana worked together to track Howland down, the district attorney's office said. 

"The diligence of law-enforcement agencies here and across the country led to a safe recovery of the girl," Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said in a statement. 

The girl is in custody of social services because she was reported as a runaway, the district attorney's office said. 

Adams said this case is an important reminder of the dangers children can face online. 

"Social networking platforms can be hunting grounds for predators hoping to contact and victimize children," she said. 

The investigation is ongoing.

Howland is charged with a total of six felonies − on two separate court dockets − including kidnapping for ransom, unlawful contact with a minor - sexual offenses, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a minor, statutory sexual assault, aggravated assault and interference of custody of children. He's also charged with a misdemeanor count of corruption of minors. 

Howland is in Lancaster County Prison after failing to post $575,000 bail.


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