Linwood Russell Simms, 24, of Midlothian, Virginia, is charged with two counts of felony statutory rape of a child who is 15 years of age or younger, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
On Aug. 21, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a runaway juvenile in western Iredell County. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that there was a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood. The sheriff’s office said the male driver was seen speaking with the runaway juvenile a few days before.
Deputies obtained the license plate number of the vehicle. The driver was identified as Simms, the sheriff’s office said. An alert was immediately issued to surrounding law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the missing juvenile and the vehicle.
Deputies were able to get a cell phone number for Simms. The phone was in the area of Lenoir City, Tennessee.
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Lenoir City Police Department. Officers located the juvenile female with Simms. Police arrested Simms for harboring a runaway child. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office said officers learned that Simms possibly had sexual intercourse with the juvenile while still in North Carolina.
Detective Sergeant Patrick Dixson of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit was assigned the case for further investigation. Once the juvenile returned home in Iredell County, a forensic interview was conducted by the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center.
Simms is currently in custody in Tennessee under no bond. He is awaiting extradition to Iredell County. This case is still under investigation and additional charges may be pending.
Photo: Lenoir City, Tennessee Police