Authorities: Girl rescued in Denver after being kidnapped in California; suspect arrested

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KDVR) — A 12-year-old girl was rescued in Denver after she was allegedly kidnapped by a pedophile and white supremacist in California, authorities said Saturday.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, 40-year-old Nathan Daniel Larson of Catlett,
Virginia was arrested at Denver International Airport on Dec. 14.

In a press conference midday Saturday, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said that on the morning of Dec. 14, her office received a report of a missing 12-year-old girl who may have been coerced into running away with an older man she met on social media in mid-October.

Investigators learned the two may have taken a flight from Fresno Yosemite International Airport to the Washington, DC area with a layover in Denver.

Detectives with the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force took over the investigation.

“Detectives contacted law enforcement authorities (in Denver) and asked that they check the airport for Larson and the child. A Denver Police officer assigned to the local FBI Task Force located Larson and arrested him. Agents rescued the girl, who was uninjured, and made arrangements to have her reunited with her family in Fresno, which she was later on Monday night,” the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

According to Mims, Larson traveled to California from his home in Virginia to meet the girl. He persuaded her to take a ride-share from her home around 2 a.m. so they could go to the Fresno airport together.

“Larson made her wear a long-hair wig to alter her appearance. He also told her to act as though she was disabled and unable to speak to ensure she would not converse with anyone at the airport while making their way onto the airplane,” the sheriff’s office said.

On Dec. 17, Fauquier County, Virginia authorities searched Larson’s home in Catlett, Virginia. While there, Larson’s father, 69-year-old Arthur Larson, allegedly assaulted a Homeland Security Investigations agent. The elder Larson was arrested for assault and battery and later released from jail after posting bond.

Detectives seized electronic devices during the search of the Virginia home.

“During the investigation, detectives uncovered Nathan Larson has a deeply disturbing
background. He is a white supremacist and a well-known advocate for pedophilia. This is a
man who runs a website, which encourages the raping of children and sharing of naked
photos and video of children being raped. During the past two months, Larson was able to
convince the Fresno girl, through manipulation and grooming, to send him pornographic
images of herself,” the sheriff’s office said.

Additionally, according to Mims, Larson threatened to kill the president of the United States in December 2008 while he lived in Boulder, Colorado. At the time, George W. Bush was president and Barack Obama had just been elected.

Larson pleaded guilty in federal court. In October 2009, he was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison. He served 14 months.

FOX31 Problem Solvers tracked down the Boulder address where Larson was reported having lived.

“I’m not surprised,” said Bill Smith, who lives in the neighborhood and said he remembers Larson. “People like that, you kind of notice they are a little odd but you don’t say anything. But hearing something like that, by all means, I’m not the least bit surprised.”

Smith says he recalls Larson staying with his older sister. 

“He was just unsociable. I’d have to go work on her apartment and he’d just sit on the couch,” Smith said. “Yeah, he gave me the creeps.”

FOX31 Problem Solvers contacted Larson’s ex-wife. She says they divorced in 2018, and she is now living a peaceful life with no desire to comment on Larson’s charges.

Mims added that in 2017, Larson ran for political office as an Independent for state House in Virginia. He lost the race.

Larson is being held in the Denver County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of harboring a child. However, he is also facing felony charges in Fresno County for kidnapping, child abduction, soliciting child pornography from a minor and meeting a child for the intention of sex.

Larson has a hearing scheduled in Denver on Dec. 24. At that time, an extradition request will be made so he can be taken to Fresno.

Mims said Larson may have other victims. She encouraged anyone with information to contact Fresno County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Pursell at 559-600-8029, brandon.pursell@fresnosheriff.org or Sgt. Chad Stokes at: 559-600-8144, chad.stokes@fresnosheriff.org

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