Arrest made in case of missing teen found in Arizona

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities have made an arrest in the case of a missing Berkshire teen later found in Arizona.

The teen was found safe in Chandler, Arizona, and authorities say a man who lives there has been arrested and charged in connection to the case.

Brad David Cooper, 47, faces six different charges in the case.

NEWS10 ABC spoke with a neighbor of the family who says they are dealing with the heartbreak, but so excited to know their child is in safe hands.

“He seemed happy and smiley, that’s how I’ve always seen him,” she said.

She described seeing her teenage neighbor the night he disappeared — saying the whole neighborhood has been on pins and needles as they awaited any word on how he is. As a mother herself, she says it was devastating when she heard the teen was found miles away in Arizona in the care of an accused sexual predator.

“I just don’t know how a grown adult can do that to a 14-year old,” she said.

Police in Arizona tell me say that Cooper conned the teen by posing online as a 16-year old named Trent. As interactions online increased, police documents claim the relationship turned sexual, and that the teen knew Cooper was not sixteen when he went with him.

Documents show the two drove from Massachusetts back to Cooper’s home over the span of three days, but local police were able to surround the property and arrest Cooper on several federal charges of sexual exploitation.

Even for veteran Detective Seth Tyler from the Chandler, Arizona Police Department, this case of sexual exploitation is worse than most.

“I’ve read a great deal of arrest reports and probable cause statements and this one was one of the more disturbing ones,” said Det. Seth Tyler.

Tyler tells me he can’t speak to the teen’s emotional state, but that the 14-year old did not need medical attention. And as for the mother of the victim, this neighbor tells me it’s been a rough week, but that she is surrounded by support and ready to have her son home.

“They just want their privacy respected, you know she’s just really heartbroken and she’s relived that he’s found,” she said.

Now it’s unclear at this time if Cooper will also face charges in Massachusetts.

According to the police department, Cooper has admitted in interviews that this teen is not the only child he has sexually exploited. For now the police in Chandler say they are happy to have the teen back in safe hands and that they are working on building a strong case against cooper in the state of Arizona.

He is currently being held in jail without bond, his next trial date is set for June 19.

NEWS10 ABC previously identified the teen as police attempted to locate him, but in compliance with our policy of not identifying victims we are no longer identifying the victim.

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