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Man charged in TikTok rescue has charge upped to kidnapping

The move came after police testified at the hearing that Brick threatened to kill the girl’s dog if she tried to get away.

LONDON, Ky. — 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. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that 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 move came after police testified at the hearing that Brick threatened to kill the girl’s dog if she tried to get away.

The Laurel County Sheriff's Office said Brick was on I-75 at KY 80 on Nov. 4. Police were able to find Brick thanks to a tip from someone who saw the girl making the signal on the interstate.

The sheriff's office learned the girl had been reported missing by her parents out of Asheville, North Carolina. The girl told investigators she had gotten with Brick and traveled through multiple states which included North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.

During their investigation deputies said they located a phone in the possession of Brick allegedly portraying another girl in a sexual manner. He has also been charged with possession of matter sex performance by a minor over the age of 12 but under age 18.

The public defender’s office is representing Brick and declined to comment.

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