FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man accused of grooming and kidnapping a 12-year-old girl from Fresno has died while in custody, according to the United States Department of Justice.
On Monday, officials confirmed that Nathan Larson died while in custody in Maricopa County, Arizona on September 18.
Investigators with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said Larson, who they described as an advocate for pedophilia, flew to Fresno in December 2020 to coerce a 12-year-old girl he had been communicating with through social media to run away with him.
During an investigation, deputies said they learned that the girl had gone with Larson to the Fresno Yosemite National Airport to catch a cross-country flight to Virginia together.
Officials said Larson had told the girl to wear a wig and act disabled to get past security at the airport.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Larson during a layover flight in Denver, Colorado. The girl was found uninjured and returned home to her family.
Detectives said they found evidence that Larson had run a website that encouraged the raping of children and child photography.
In 2008, officials said that Larson had pled guilty to sending an email to the Secret Service, threatening to kill the president of the United States. Larson served 14 months in federal prison.
In 2007, Larson had run for the Virginia House of Delegates and lost.
Authorities have not released Larson’s cause of death at this time.