UPDATE: The Bonney Lake Police Department says 15-year-old Lily Christopherson has been found safe by the Puyallup Police Department, and has been reunited with her family.
KIRO 7 has calls out to the Puyallup Police Department, and we are working to learn more on how police found Lily for a live report on KIRO 7 News at 5. Watch with us on-air or here.
There’s another development in the case of the 15-year-old Bonney Lake girl, who has now been missing for more than three weeks.
Police say detectives arrested 34-year-old William Kent Pittman in Pierce County Wednesday night. His booking charges are for child rape.
Last week, 39-year-old Christopher Fitzpatrick was arrested and charged for kidnapping and raping 15-year-old Lily Christopherson.
His girlfriend, Maria Counts, was also arrested.
Despite the latest arrest of Pittman on Wednesday night, the teenager is still missing. Now the search for her is intensifying.
This week, there were reports that Lily was spotted in Tacoma with a woman.
On Thursday, volunteers are spreading further south to expand the search to Tenino and Centralia. According to court documents, people familiar with Fitzpatrick say he had recently been staying in Tenino before his arrest in Lakewood.
Family members say the reward for any information leading to the safe return of Lily has increased to $10,000.
Counts, the second suspect arrested and charged in connection with Lily’s disappearance, is from the Tenino area.
Counts and Fitzpatrick were charged or accused of acting as an accomplice of: kidnapping in the first degree with sexual motivation, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, rape of a child in the third degree (multiple counts), unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to a minor, and possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to court documents, Fitzpatrick and Counts met Lily and a friend, Alex, at the Federal Way Transit Center on May 9.
The teenagers went with them to a nearby recreational vehicle where they were supplied with a drug known as DMT, a synthetic hallucinogen. That is when Lily was convinced to go with the couple to a hotel where they would pay her to take nude photos. At that point, they ordered Alex to leave.
But the documents show he waited 12 long days to tell anyone the terrible story. By then, the documents say, Fitzpatrick had raped and sold Lily several times as a prostitute.
"There's nothing more important than protecting our children and there are no crimes more serious than violating children," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
Lindquist said the arrests are shining a light on the underworld of sexual exploitation of children.
"The world of sex trafficking is seedy and it's dangerous," Lindquist said. "And it's important we find her."
And that is something Lindquist and everyone involved in the case is stressing. It is urgent that they find this teenager.
According to the court documents, she is being advertised on a website that was new even to Lindquist: MeetMe.com.
And, he cautions potential "customers" that anyone caught having sex with a child faces at least 10 years in prison. They could be charged even if they don't know the victim is underage.
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Cox Media Group