Sexual offender accused of luring teen to Alabama

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 6:57 a.m.

An Okeechobee man was arrested at a Clanton, Ala., gas station early Wednesday and charged with multiple sex crimes against a 15-year-old Bronson girl.

According to the Levy County Sheriff's Office, the girl was reported missing from her home on Sunday. An investigation showed that the girl had apparently been talking by cell phone to an adult male over about five months. Evidence also was found that showed the girl and may have stayed at the Bronson Motel on Sunday night and then hitchhiked through Archer, Gainesville, Live Oak and then to Clanton.

At about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, witnesses at a gas station in Clanton reported seeing a girl and a man in an argument, according to Levy sheriff's officials. When a patron at the station asked the girl if she was OK, the girl reportedly said she was trying to get away from the man, officials said.

Police arrested the man on a charge of interference of child custody and then ran a criminal check, which showed he was a registered sexual offender in Florida, according to Levy sheriff's officials. The girl was also detained by police, they said.

Levy County Sheriff's Cpl. Mike Narayan obtained a Florida warrant for the man, and Clanton police used it to arrest him on four counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child and one count of interference with custody, authorities said. Police said the man was carrying a backpack that contained rope, duct tape, a pellet gun and women's clothing that did not belong to the girl.

The man was identified as David Lawrence Emrick, 49, who authorities say has an extensive criminal background. Narayan asked that anyone with information about unsolved crimes that may have involved Emrick contact the Levy County Sheriff's Office at 352-486-5111, extension 265.

Karen Voyles can be reached at 352-359-5656 or

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