Missing 13-Year-Old Girl Rescued by Police; Man with History of Child Custody Interference Arrested in Connection
John Wickham of Margate. {BSO}

By Ryan Yousefi

Coconut Creek Police has rescued a missing 13-year-old girl found in the company of a man known for luring her away from her home. 

On July 29, the family of the missing 13-year-old girl, identified as Sheala Marie Rodriguez, reported to the Coconut Creek Police Department that the teen had run away overnight and left behind a disturbing message written on the wall that read “You’ll never find me.”

Throughout the next 24 hours, multiple local media outlets, including Coconut Creek Talk, covered the search for Rodriguez, drawing heightened attention from the community.

During the search for Rodriguez, the family noted to CCPD they believed she might be in the presence of a man, later identified as John Wickham, 43, of Margate, whom she had a history of being with during similar incidents in the past.  

According to the arrest report, this hunch proved true, as Rodriguez was found traveling inside Wickham’s vehicle during a traffic stop in the vicinity of Atlantic Boulevard and I-95.

Records of his arrest show the officer recognized both Rodriguez and Wickham, a man with a history of involvement in child custody interference cases, and quickly him into custody. 

Rodriguez was found to be safe and unharmed.

Wickham told officers he was taking Rodriguez home at the time of the traffic stop, but the report notes the vehicle was traveling in the opposite direction of her known residence.

The record also notes that Rodriguez told officers she had requested Wickham pick her up the night before, and that she had stayed with him in a Miami Beach hotel.

Upon questioning, Rodriguez denied any sexual interactions with Wickham, but a red mark was located on her neck.

Rodriguez continued the denials, claiming a boy named “Michael” had given her the red mark.

During his arrest, it was discovered that Wickham had an outstanding warrant from Margate, pertaining to the same charge involving Rodriguez stemming from a June 25 incident. 

Court records revealed that on a previous occasion, Wickham had been arrested for a traffic violation in Margate, where police found Rodriguez in his car. 

At that time, Wickham falsely provided a different name for her but was eventually exposed when the girl revealed her true identity to the officers.

Wickham was arrested and transported to the Broward County Main Jail where he faces charges of interfering with the custody of a minor.

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Author Profile

Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
Estate Law of Florida, P.A.