PICKENS COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A 12-year-old girl and a man who went missing during a kayak trip along Twelve Mile River in Pickens County were found safe Tuesday morning.
Pickens County Emergency Management Deputy Director Pierce Womack said the 12-year-old and the man were reported missing Monday night.
Authorities were told the two were at Cateechee Beach Park for a few hours before putting their kayaks into Twelve Mile River around dusk.
According to a Pickens County Sheriff’s Office news release, the pair went missing around 9:30 p.m.
Rescue crews began searching for the two just after 11 p.m. Monday.
An Anderson County Sheriff’s Office helicopter assisted in the search and made several trips along the river, which leads to Lake Hartwell, using thermal imaging.
Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, the girl and the man walked up to the staging area.
Our cameras captured the girl being reunited with family members before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Pickens County Emergency Services officials identified the man who was with the 12-year-old girl as Daniel Timothy Falu, 40.
Falu was detained and put in handcuffs by deputies at the scene after he and the girl were found safe.
He was reportedly wanted on a probation charge out of Oconee County.
Falu was reportedly a friend of the girl’s family.
He also reportedly identified himself to the family as “Solomon.”
We reported back in April 2018 that Falu was arrested on an attempted murder charge, as well as a charge for possession of cocaine out of Oconee County.
Court records show that Falu’s attempted murder charged was dismissed on Feb. 26, 2019.
Records also show that Falu’s charges of cocaine possession and third-degree assault and battery by mob were dismissed that same day.
He pled guilty to possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine or cocaine base, and received a 3-year sentence suspended to 304 days already served, as well as five years probation.