Affidavit: Tyler man met Alabama girl online, kidnapped, sexually assaulted her

Affidavit: Tyler man met Alabama girl online, kidnapped, sexually assaulted her
Daniel Skipworth (Source: Smith County Jail website)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An arrest affidavit sheds new light on the details of a case where Tyler police officers rescued a 13-year-old Alabama girl from a 19-year-old man’s home Saturday.

The suspect in the case is still being held in the Smith County jail. Daniel Dylan Skipworth, of Tyler, is being held on charges of kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault of a child, trafficking – engage in sexual conduct, and resisting arrest.

Collectively, Skipworth’s bond amount has been set at $560,000.

According to the affidavit, the victim in the case is a 13-year-old girl from a town in Alabama. The girl’s foster parents reported her missing to the police on April 15.

The town’s police department started an investigation and requested help from the FBI.

“On April 16, investigators took steps to analyze the cellular data from [the victim’s] cell phone and obtained tower dumps of cellular data which illustrated the movements of [the victim’s] phone,” the affidavit stated. “With this information, the FBI was able to determine that {the victim’s] phone left the area around her residence at approximately 5:36 a.m. on April 15, 2021, and was moving away from her residence.”

Investigators also determined that the movements of the girl’s phone coincided with the movements of another phone, which was later found to belong to Skipworth, the affidavit stated.

Later in the day, the girl’s phone stopped transmitting.

Further investigation revealed Skipworth’s phone left the area around his residence in the 3600 block of Woods Boulevard at about 7:43 p.m. on April 14 and traveled to the victim’s home in Alabama, the affidavit stated. He arrived at about 5:30 a.m. on April 15.

Skipworth’s phone was then tracked back to Tyler. He allegedly arrived back at his residence on Woods Blvd. at about 3:46 a.m. on April 16.

The FBI started “pinging” Skipworth’s phone on the assumption that the victim was still with him. He was located at his residence on Woods Blvd. and the information was relayed to the Tyler FBI office.

FBI agents from the Tyler office and a Tyler PD officer went to Skipworth’s home and tried to make contact with the people inside, but they got no response. At that point, they called one of Skipworth’s relatives, who told them that Skipworth had traveled to and from Alabama in the last week.

When investigators finally made contact with Skipworth, he was “adamant that there was not a 13-year-old girl inside his home,” the affidavit stated.

After the relative spoke with Skipworth, he spoke to the law enforcement officers and was uncooperative. Eventually, Skipworth admitted that the 13-year-old girl was inside his bedroom, the affidavit stated.

The Tyler PD officer went to the bedroom and began calling for the girl after he identified himself as a law enforcement officer. When he opened the door, the “visibly shaken” girl came out of the room.

During an interview after her rescue, the girl told authorities that she and Skipworth had met online, the affidavit stated. She also told them that she had told Skipworth that she is 13.

They agreed to meet up, and Skipworth traveled to Alabama and picked her up while it was still dark, so the girl’s foster parents wouldn’t know, the affidavit stated. The girl told investigators that about 30 minutes after they left her residence in Alabama, she asked Skipworth to take her back home.

Skipworth refused, the affidavit stated. Allegedly, he later ordered the girl to dispose of her phone.

According to the affidavit, Skipworth and the girl stopped to rest at some point on the trip back to Texas, and he tried to touch her inappropriately. She stopped him from doing so.

When they got back to Texas, Skipworth snuck the girl into his bedroom, the affidavit stated. He allegedly denied her repeated requests to take her back to Alabama and held her down to prevent her from telling his parents that she was there.

During his interview, Skipworth admitted to going to Alabama to pick the girl up and said that she told him she was 14 and that she was in an abusive home, the affidavit stated. He also allegedly said they agreed to throw out the girl’s cell phone to keep authorities from tracking it.

On April 18, the girl was interviewed at the Smith County Children’s Advocacy Center. During the interview, the girl said Skipworth sexually assaulted her several times while he kept her in his bedroom from April 16 to April 17.

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