LONDON, Ky. (AP) — The charge against a 61-year-old man accused of holding a 16-year-old girl captive until a driver on a Kentucky interstate noticed her using a distress signal made popular on TikTok has been increased to kidnapping.
Laurel District Judge John Paul Chappell approved a prosecutor’s request Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for James Herbert Brick, of Cherokee, North Carolina, who was originally charged with unlawful imprisonment, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
The move came after police testified at the hearing that Brick threatened to kill the girl’s dog if she tried to get away.
The girl’s parents reported their daughter missing from Asheville, North Carolina, last week. Two days later, her hand signal — and the alert driver — enabled Kentucky sheriff’s deputies to stop the car and arrest Brick, authorities said.