Fort Bragg soldier charged with statutory rape of Craven County 12-year-old girl

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) - A Fort Bragg soldier is accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old girl from her Craven County home early Sunday, leaving a ransom note.

Craven County deputies say 19-year-old James Peele has been charged with first degree statutory rape and first degree burglary and will be brought back to Craven County to face charges.

The child's grandmother says she awoke Sunday morning to find her granddaughter missing from their Carolina Pines home. The woman found the bedroom window open and a ransom note left on her bed.

Officers found the girl in Fayetteville with Peele, according to deputies. She was reunited with her grandmother Sunday evening.

Sheriff Jerry Monette said the case involved internet chat rooms and cautioned parents that they need to be on top of their child's use on cell phones and computers.

He said the FBI cell phone tracking unit was very helpful in locating the victim.

The sheriff said the ransom note made a request for money in return for her safe return. He said there was evidence sexual activity occurred.

Fort Bragg says Peele is a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division.