Florida man arrested after missing 16-year-old girl's World of Warcraft account comes online at his house

A missing 16-year-old girl was found thanks to World of Warcraft: her account came online at an IP address in Florida, far from her home, and authorities swooped in to find Thomas Ebersole, 31, whose own "World of Warcraft account was also accessed at the location," writes Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Ebersole, arrested Wednesday last week, was charged with traveling to meet a minor to engage in sexual activity, with interfering with child custody, and with sheltering an unmarried minor. The age of consent in Florida is 18.

According to the press release, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requesting local assistance after the account came online and the IP address was traced. They met Ebersole at his home, he initially denied knowing the girl, but "ultimately admitted that he had driven to Ohio to meet the victim and brought her back to his home" and admitted to what he described as a "romantic relationship" with plans to wed her.

Ebersole showed a detective Discord messages which "further outlined his plans to meet the victim in Ohio and engage in sexual activity despite knowing that he was committing a crime," and is being without bond in Marion County Jail.