A North Carolina man drove more than 1,000 miles to Florida to execute a plan he had in mind for months: Move in with his beloved to a place where nobody knew them.
However, the beloved in the story was a 12-year-old girl living in Florida. Nicholas G. Peacock was sentenced last week to 27 years in prison by the Federal Court of the Northern District of Florida after pleading guilty to illicit sexual activity with a minor.
According to court records, here is what happened:
The man contacted the girl on Skype on December 2015, when she was 12 and he was 32. They exchanged "explicit" messages and photographs for several months while he was living in Salisbury, North Carolina, according to court documents.
Three months later, Peacock held a conversation with the child about plans to move in together.
"Are you coming to get me?" typed the girl over Skype.
"I keep thinking of that. .... If I do, they will probably trace phone records and apps you have and get a court order to see everything we talk about," he replied.
"But they will know how much I want to leave," she said.
"They will find us. Through my phone. ... But yeah I will," he replied. "I've been working extra. To move into a place no one knows where I live."
On April 2, 2016, Peacock drove to Florida to pick up the girl and her dog, and drove back to North Carolina.
The man got a hotel room to spend the night and sexually abuse her, according to federal court records.
That same day the girl's grandmother reported the disappearance of the child to the Escambia Police Department and after learning that the authorities were looking for her, Peacock had to change his plans. Escambia County is in the Florida Panhandle.
The next day he took his car, the child and the dog back to Florida. The man made sure to leave her near her grandparents' house.
After being questioned by the authorities, the victim confessed that she had escaped with a man named "Nick" whom she met in December 2015 on Skype.
The minor admitted they had traveled to North Carolina and had sex. The authorities tracked down the cellphone number from which he was communicating with the girl and arrested Peacock.