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Police: Phoenix man arranged to have AMBER Alert victim transported from Washington state to Mexico

A missing 15-year-old girl was found during a traffic stop in Nevada on Monday night. Police say a Phoenix man likely arranged for her to be transported to him.

PHOENIX — Police are looking for a Phoenix man who allegedly arranged to have a 15-year-old girl from Washington state taken to him in Mexico, triggering an AMBER Alert before she was found safe in Nevada.

On Monday night, police located the 15-year-old, who was missing from her Yakima home, at a traffic stop outside Wells, Nevada.

The driver was 34-year-old Eric Landeros, who was arrested and charged with kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

Landeros is being held in Nevada on a $250,000 bond, per Yakima police.

Credit: Elko County Sheriff

However, police are looking for a 36-year-old Phoenix man, Daniel Ovante, who is suspected of having arranged for the victim to be taken from Yakima to Mexico, where police believe Ovante is currently. 

Credit: Yakima Police Department

According to Yakima police, the 15-year-old was found in Phoenix with Ovante after she had run away from her Yakima home in October 2020.

Court documents show Ovante last year had gone to Yakima to pick the victim up. According to court documents, Ovante had sex with the victim in hotels on the way back to Phoenix. 

According to court documents, Ovante has a 16-year-old daughter who told police Ovante and the 15-year-old had sex "every day" from Sept. 5 to Oct. 27, when they were taken into custody.

Ovante's daughter told police Ovante had told her he met the victim online and was going to pick her up and bring her back. Ovante told his daughter the victim was 17 and allegedly said that he had told the victim he was 19.

Ovante had been in custody since the October arrest, but was released in late December after posting bail. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said he was initially arrested on one count each of sexual exploitation and sexual conduct with a minor with a bond set at $150,000.

Ovante now has an arrest warrant out for failing to appear. Police say it is believed he is now in Mexico, which is likely where Landeros and the victim were on their way to.

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