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Merced Pacheco Charged With Holding Missing California Girl Captive

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/ 3/2012 8:13 pm Updated: 05/ 3/2012 8:16 pm

Pacheco
Merced Pacheco was arrested on Tuesday, accused of holding a 16-year-old girl captive for months and sexually abusing her.

A 16-year-old California girl listed as a missing person was rescued by fare inspectors on a train in San Jose after she was allegedly sexually abused and held against her will for months.

The girl has not yet been identified. Cops said the incident has no connection "at this time" to the search for missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.

Patch reported that Merced Pacheco, 23, of Santa Clara was arrested on suspicion of unlawful intercourse with a minor and false imprisonment.

While Valley Transportation Authority fare inspectors checked proof of payment on a train Tuesday, they noted that the 16-year-old victim had an expired pass. Pacheco also failed to show proof of payment. Both were taken off the train.

Upon further questioning, the girl told inspectors that she'd been held against her will and that Pacheco had sexually abused her, according to NBC. The girl was listed as a missing person.

Officials called sheriff's deputies, who arrested Pacheco without incident. The girl was put into protective custody.

More details about the girl weren't immediately available, but police were quick to knock down immediate speculation that she is missing California teen Sierra LaMar -- who is the same age as the alleged victim in this case.

HELP FIND SIERRA LAMAR:

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  • Sierra LaMar

    Sierra LaMar, 15, vanished after leaving her Morgan Hills, Calif. home on March 16 and headed for school.

  • Sierra LaMar

    Police found LaMar's cellphone on Saturday, March 17 -- the day after she was last seen. Cops said they're searching her phone records for clues.

  • Sierra LaMar

    LaMar was a cheerleader in high school before moving to a new town, Morgan Hill, with her mother in October. Her parents are divorced and police said that both were cooperating with the investigation.

  • Sierra LaMar

    Police are treating LaMar's disappearance as a missing person case. Her parents insist it's unlikely that she ran away.

  • Sierra LaMar

    LaMar is 5-feet-2-inches tall with a thin frame. She was carrying a pink and black Juicy purse when she left home.

  • Sierra LaMar

    Anyone with information about LaMar may contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office at (408) 299-2311

  • Sierra LaMar

  • Peter Robinson

    Deputy Peter Robinson, of the Santa Clara County Sheriff Underwater Search Unit, surveys a pond on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Morgan Hill, Calif. The search for missing 15-year-old Northern California girl expanded on Tuesday as investigators followed new leads one month since her disappearance. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's office would not say what the new leads were in the case of Sierra LaMar, except that they came from evidence already collected. The teen was seen leaving her Morgan Hill home on March 16. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Sierra LaMar

    A sign with a photo of missing teen Sierra LaMar is posted at an intersection on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Morgan Hill, Calif. The search for missing 15-year-old Northern California girl expanded on Tuesday as investigators followed new leads one month since her disappearance. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's office would not say what the new leads were in the case of Sierra LaMar, except that they came from evidence already collected. The teen was seen leaving her Morgan Hill home on March 16. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Santa Clara County Sheriffs underwater search unit

    The Santa Clara County Sheriffs underwater search unit prepares to lower a zodiac into Calero Reservoir to look for clues in the disappearance of missing teenage girl Sierra LaMar Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in Morgan Hill, Calif. LaMar disappeared as she headed out for school on March 16, and her cellphone and bag were found tossed in two separate locations shortly after. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Sierra LaMar

    HOLD FOR STORY: In this photo from Monday, March 26, 2012, posters bearing images of missing teen Sierra LaMar are seen at Burnett Elementary School in Morgan Hill, Calif. LaMar disappeared as she headed out for school on March 16, and her cellphone and bag were found tossed in two separate locations shortly after. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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