Missing NC girl found safe in Florida, man arrested

Photos provided by the Carteret County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office show 12-year-old Abigale Lefevers, 38-year-old Timothy Howard Newman, and a red 1998 Chrysler Sebring, the type of vehicle they may have been driving.

The 12-year-old N.C. girl who was in the hands of a 38-year-old registered sex offender was found safe in Florida today.

The Amber Alerts for Abigale Lefevers of Newport, N.C., were canceled about 6:30 p.m. with a note that she had been located in Florida.

The man accused of abducting her, Timothy Howard Newman, was arrested without incident at I-95 and Hallandale Beach Boulevard in the Miami area, according to Chief Deputy Ken Raper of the Sheriff’s Office in Carteret County, N.C., which issued the initial Amber Alert.

Newman was wanted on charges of child abduction and driving a stolen car.

A Florida television station said Newman was arrested outside a Denny’s restaurant and has a video of police cuffing Newman and escorting Abigale away from the red Chrysler Sebring convertible.

“The girl was a little shaken, but she was OK,” Raper said.

The arrest came after somebody reported seeing them in the Coral Gables area about 4:30 p.m., Raper said. An FBI agent helping the sheriff’s office alerted police in Florida, who made the arrest about 6:30 p.m.

“We’re kind of tickled right now,” Raper said. “They’ve been located and everybody is in custody and everything’s good.”

Abigale will be flown back home Thursday morning, with her flight paid for by volunteers, Raper said.

Then Newman will be brought back to North Carolina face charges.

Abigale was last seen at her home about 10 p.m. Sunday. Her father told deputies she was missing when he woke up around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

The red Chrysler Sebring that he was driving was spotted about 2 a.m. Monday near the South Carolina border, heading south on U.S. Highway 17. Investigators said they thought he was heading to Florida.

Natalie Caula contributed to this story. Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.