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World of Warcraft helped investigators find missing Ohio teen in Florida man's home

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CBS News Miami Live

MIAMI - A popular online video game is credited with helping the police find a missing Ohio teen in a Florida man's home.

Last Wednesday, the FBI contacted the Marion County Sheriff's Office after investigators learned the 16-year-old's account for World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, was active at a residence in Dunnellon, about 25 miles southwest of Ocala.

According to authorities, the residence was the home address of Thomas Ebersole, 31, whose World of Warcraft account was also pinged at the location.

Ebersole initially denied knowing the 16-year-old, but later allegedly admitted he had driven to Ohio to meet up with her and bring her back to Dunnellon, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff's office.

He reportedly told authorities he was in a "romantic relationship" with the teen and planned to hide her in his home and make her his wife.

Ebersole was arrested and is now facing charges that include traveling to meet a minor to engage in sexual activity, interfering with child custody, and sheltering an unmarried minor. He's being held in Marion County Jail without bond.

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