A Vernal man is in custody for allegedly driving to Indiana to pick up a teen girl he met on social media and taking her back to Utah.

Matthew Brian Barrow, 23, was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday in 8th District Court with kidnapping and sexual exploitation of a minor, second-degree felonies.

On Monday, police received a tip of a missing 17-year-old girl from Indiana possibly being in the Vernal area. Officers were able to trace the girl to a trailer park near 100 N. 500 East.

"Matthew was located by officers and he expressed he had met the victim while working as a suicide crisis worker over the internet. Matthew explained he had gotten the juvenile from Indiana and brought her back to Vernal," according to a police booking affidavit.

Barrow allegedly claimed he had posted on a Snapchat story that he "had experience with suicidal thoughts from his past and was looking to help people." He claimed he had communicated with about 20 juveniles across the country about this, but they had all since blocked him on social media, the affidavit states.

When he talked to the 17-year-old, however, he claimed they "hit it off" and their conversations became sexual, according to police.

"Matthew expressed he cared for the juvenile and was worried for her safety. He said they had been talking for about four months and about a month prior (to the alleged kidnapping) they had begun to discuss him coming to Indiana to get her," the affidavit states.

The girl told police that on the day Barrow showed up at her house, she snuck out of a window between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., met Barrow in an alley and they started driving to Utah.

"Matthew expressed he knew what he did wasn't right but he did it to help her," according to the affidavit.

Barrow allegedly told police their intention was to live together as "spouses" until the girl was old enough to legally marry.

Vernal police say the investigation into the incident is still active and additional evidence is being collected.

"There is an extremely high likelihood that further criminal charges will be forthcoming," police noted in their affidavit. "Further investigation is being looked into regarding sexual conduct and online enticement with the juvenile."