JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL -- For three days, police say a thick wooded area was home to a 12-year-old girl and her 21-year-old boyfriend. The two were living at a transient camp just north of JTB.
The girl's mother tells First Coast News her daughter ran away more than a week ago. The mother went to pick the girl up from Southside Middle School but then found out she had skipped her last two classes. They later discovered she was with Daniel Rollins. Investigators say the two had met three months ago and were in a relationship.
"They finally decided they wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend. She ran away, she came out here, she finally found him on Friday and they've been living in a tent for three days until the police found them," says Sgt. Tom Bingham with Jacksonville Beach Police.
Detectives say the girl's parents received a tip from one of her friends about where she was. After searching one camp with no luck, police later discovered her at another one. She was in the tent, lying naked with Rollins.
"They were both interviewed as far as what had happened prior. They both admitted to having sex with each other. He was arrested and she was transported back to her parents," says Sgt. Bingham.
Her mother says even though this wasn't her daughter's first time running away, she's hoping this was the last.
Police say Daniel Rollins has a criminal history between Duval and Clay counties of burglary, grand theft and larceny. In this case he is charged with lewd acts upon a child.
According to police reports the 12-year-old girl had recently been returned by police after running away back in March.
Investigators say when she first met Rollins, she told him she was 16. A month later he discovered she was 12 but the two remained together.