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Deputies charge 22-year-old with statutory rape

Kenneth Dylan Whitehead Kenneth Dylan Whitehead

MILLS RIVER — Henderson County sheriff's deputies charged a 22-year-old East Tennessee man with statutory rape after they found him at a Mills River campground with a 13-year-old girl.

Deputies responding on Monday to a report of a possible missing person at North Mills River campground in Pisgah National Forest arrested Kenneth Dylan Whitehead, of Bristol, Tenn. Through a criminal records check, the officers discovered that Whitehead was wanted in Dent County, Mo., for kidnapping the girl. Whitehead and the 13-year-old were transported to the Henderson County Sheriff's Office for follow-up interviews by detectives. Detectives subsequently charged Whitehead with two felony counts of first-degree statutory rape of a child under 15. The juvenile was placed in protective custody of the Henderson County Department of Social Services.

Whitehead also faces the kidnapping charges from Missouri on the fugitive warrant. "He will have to answer to the charges here before being extradited back to Missouri to face that charge," Maj. Frank Stout said. On Tuesday Whitehead remained in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $1,020,000 secured bond. The girl has been reunited with her parental guardian, the sheriff's office said.