UPDATE: WI man in missing 14-year-old Monroe Co. girl must stay behind bars
A magistrate judge found the allegations against Bryan Rogers supported probable cause, according to a clerk at the Western District of Wisconsin United States District Court.
On Feb. 12, there was a preliminary examination and detention hearing. The judge ordered Rogers to be detained for now.
The next steps in the federal court process for Rodgers is as follows:
The U.S. Attorney's Office will present its case to the Grand Jury, then the Grand Jury will decide if they will return an indictment.
An arraignment is set for 10 a.m., Feb. 21, on the assumption the Grand Jury would return an indictment next week.
A Wisconsin man has been charged in connection to a Monroe County teenager who went missing in January and was found last week in Wisconsin.
A release from the Department of Justice says that Bryan Rogers, 31, has been charged "in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison" in connection to the case. The complaint was filed on Feb. 4, according to the release.
Rogers federal court hearing that was scheduled to take place Thursday, February 7 has been rescheduled to a yet to be determined date.
Officials say on January 3, FBI agents responded to Rogers' Madison, Wis. residence around 4 p.m. At the time, Rogers told investigators he had been in contact with the victim through virtual means, adding he had never met the teen in person and did not travel to Tennessee to pick her up. He also told officials the teen was not in his house.
A special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice responded to Rogers' residence later that same day, at around 8 p.m. He spoke with Rogers and Rogers' mother, Anna, according to the criminal complaint, and told them he was at the home perform an 'exigent circumstances search' for the victim.
Investigators searched Rogers' living area in the basement and found the victim hiding in a closet.
Rogers was arrested and later admitted to communicating with the victim through a game called "Roblox," through Facebook and also through an encrypted messaging app. The criminal complaint states that Rogers also admitted to driving to Tennessee to pick the girl up and bringing her back to his home in Wisconsin. Rogers told officials that he avoided tollways and gas stations with surveillance and that he smashed the victim's phone so he could not be traced.
According to the criminal complaint, he used a phone to communicate with the victim, and he informed officials that the device was in his mother's vehicle.
According to the release, Rogers was expected to be in court on Monday at 3 p.m. His detention hearing is set for Feb. 7.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the teen contacted the St. Louis FBI field office at some point; however, a tip did not lead to Rogers. The sheriff's office says that information developed during the investigation.
A deputy with the sheriff's office, an official with THP and a case manager flew to Wisconsin on Friday and picked her up. As of Monday, officials say the teenager is in Tennessee, is not with family, but is safe.
Officials announced that the teen had been found last Thursday.
At the time, officials said that the 14-year-old girl left home on her own free will because of what investigators called a family situation.
"She's in good health. She's safe, she's warm," said Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones during a press conference last week.
That night, authorities said they were investigating the possibility of other charges but wouldn't say what type or who those charges would be filed against. With the revelation of the charges against Rogers on Feb. 4, officials have not said whether any other person will be charged.
The sheriff in Madison, Wisconsin, held a news conference and said, "As much as Wisconsin celebrated Jaymee Kloss, we're celebrating this case as well, and as more information comes out, as a community, as a state, we'll celebrate that again, we have a save. And we'll be able to reunite this young girl with her family in Tennessee, which is really our goal."
Shortly after officials announced the teen had been found safe, investigators reported the girl's adoptive father,
Under WVLT News policy, the station rarely identifies potential victims of certain crimes, especially when those cases involve children, to protect their privacy. Even though some law enforcement officials have made certain information public, WVLT News has chosen not to report all the details of this case, and, on Feb. 4, the sheriff's office sent a release to media outlets saying that, as the criminal investigation involves a juvenile, the sheriff's office "will be unable to answer any questions or make any additional statements regarding the case."
In earlier interviews with WVLT News, the girl's parents said the teen was last seen Saturday, January 13 at 11 p.m. at her Madisonville home. Officials said her mother went into her room on the morning of Jan. 14 at 4:30 a.m. to find the teen was gone. Investigators said the teen's bedroom window was found open. Other clothing was missing.
According to the girl's parents, the FBI began helping with the investigation.
During an interview with WVLT News, the girl's mother Christina sent a message to her daughter: "You are my sunshine, and will always be my sunshine. No matter what, I love you. Please come home."
During a news conference in the days after the girl's disappearance, Monroe County Sheriff's Office Detective Jason Fillyaw said, "She was last observed by cell phone GPS to be in the Corbin, Ky area. We would like to ask the public's help in any way."
Fillyaw said they reached out to the sheriff's office in Corbin, who then checked the area. The phone showed it was within a "relative" distance to the welcome center, just over the state line in Kentucky.
The sheriff's office said the girl's phone had not been active since "that last ping", and that she had not used her cell phone or presented herself on social media since then.
"There's some information that we are withholding at this time," Fillyaw said. "Just to maintain the integrity of the investigation...[just in case] it could possibly turn into some kind of prosecution."
The parents, Christina and Randall, said their daughter was home schooled and loved being part of the farm lifestyle she was experiencing in Tennessee. From the area, Randall said they have family in Hamblen and Jefferson County areas.
According to her adoptive father, the family had just moved back to the area on Dec. 27; however, her parents did not think she had tried to go back to their previous home, saying "Nothing shows that. She wanted to move here for a farm setting, horses and things of that nature."
The girl's mother said her siblings are "very heartbroken. They miss her. They don't understand. 'Course none of us understand."
"It's like having your soul ripped out of your body. You can't think. You can't eat. You can't sleep. Life has just ceased for us since the day she left," Randall said.