A Culver City man was being held on $8 million bail after being accused of raping a 15-year-old Mar Vista girl with autism who was missing for nearly three weeks, police said Tuesday.
Samuel Robert Duran Jr., 33, was booked on multiple counts, including rape, in connection with the girl’s March 24 disappearance, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.
The missing teenager was reunited with her mother Monday after being located at Duran’s Culver City home.
“She’s been through a lot and life will never be the same,” her mother said.
The mother told police her daughter went for a walk near the Mar Vista Recreation Center to calm down, but never returned.
Flyers of the missing girl were posted around the community during the investigation into her disappearance.
The break in the case came Monday, when the teen’s mother noticed an unfamiliar number appear on her cellphone.
Police were able to trace the number back to Duran’s residence in Culver City.
“The police actually got her,” her mother said. “The had to go in the house and physically get her.”
Duran was living in a back unit on his grandparents property. Relatives told KTLA they had no idea the girl was there.
They also claimed that Duran may suffer from mental issues.
Detectives were still investigating how Duran and the teen met, according to the news release.
Her mother was just glad to have her daughter home.
“I’m very relieved, however, I want to make sure that there is punishment for the crime,” the girl’s mother said.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang contributed to this report.