Police: Man tried to lure Mount Wolf girl into van

Liz Evans Scolforo

A York City man remains in prison on $250,000 bail, accused of trying to lure a Mount Wolf girl into his van.

Wilmer Alexander Cornejo, 25, of 213 E. Cottage Place, was driving his wife's 1999 white Ford Econoline van when he offered a 15-year-old money to get in, Northeastern Regional Police allege.

Wilmer Cornejo

He is charged with attempting to lure a child into a vehicle and driving without a license.

He also is being held on a federal immigration detainer, according to prison records. Court documents state he was born in Ecuador.

Cornejo has been in custody since he was arraigned on his charges March 23, according to court records.

At the close of his preliminary hearing Thursday, District Judge Robert Eckenrode determined enough evidence exists for Cornejo to stand trial in York County Court, according to Eckenrode's office.

His public defender, Kathryn Belfy, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The allegations: Charging documents filed by Northeastern Regional Detective Brian O'Melko state that a 15-year-old girl was walking in the 500 block of Maple Street near Mount Wolf Park in the borough about 6 p.m. Feb. 23 when Cornejo, who was sitting in his van, pulled up and started a conversation with her.

"He offered her money to get into his van, and told her that he would take her to dinner, and they would have a good time," O'Melko wrote.

Cornejo told the girl he was 20 years old — five years younger than his actual age — and kept trying to entice her into his van even after she told him she was 15, documents allege.

One of the girl's friends was able to get the license plate number of the van, and an adult in the area who saw what was happening flagged down Northeastern Regional Lt. Howard Daniels, who was driving by.

Police determined the van is owned by Evelyn Caroline Arias, who said she is Cornejo's wife, documents state.

When called by O'Melko, Arias said her husband was working that day in Mount Wolf, police said.

What van? But she denied owning a van and only admitted the van was hers when O'Melko read her the license-plate number, documents state.

When O'Melko asked who was driving the van about 6 p.m. Feb. 23, Arias said she was driving her husband to work, according to documents — a claim police said her husband later discredited.

The next day, Cornejo admitted he was driving the van despite not having a license, and he also admitted he was alone in the van, police said.

He admitted talking to the girl but claims all that happened was they greeted each other and that he told her she was too young to be walking by herself in the street, documents state.

Cornejo said he had parked there because "I was watching the park."

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.