Miami Herald

Kidnapped 13-year-old girl is found in a parked car at a Florida Keys shopping center

- BY DAVID GOODHUE David Goodhue: 305-923-9728, @DavidGoodh­ue

A 35-year-old Wisconsin man wanted for kidnapping a 13-year-old girl in South Carolina was caught by Florida Keys deputies early Tuesday morning while hiding along the island chain, Monroe County’s sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office ran the license plate of Tyler Michael Berlick soon after he entered Key Largo from the mainland and found him around 3:25 a.m. parked at the Pink Plaza shopping center at 103400 Overseas Highway with the girl sitting in his car, Sheriff Rick Ramsay

told the Miami Herald.


“We figured out pretty quickly he’s not her father or a relative,” Ramsay said.

It’s not immediatel­y clear how the two met, but Ramsay said a preliminar­y investigat­ion revealed they have known each other for a little more than a year, meaning the girl was about 11 or 12 years old. Deputies entered Berlick’s name in the national criminal database and saw he has an out-ofstate warrant, Ramsay said.

The FBI is also involved in the investigat­ion, he said.

While Berlick, from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, was being held on the side of the road, the girl became agitated and indicated she wanted to harm herself, so deputies called the Florida Department of Children and Families.


]She is in protective custody receiving mentalheal­th services until she can be returned to South Carolina, Ramsay said.

“This is probably something that will affect her the rest of her life,” he said.

Although the girl had been reported missing from South Carolina, Ramsay did not immediatel­y know when, who reported her missing or what area of that state she is from.

“It’s all pretty fluid right now,” the sheriff said.

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