NEWPORT -

The Carteret County Sheriff's office has issued an arrest warrant for 37-year-old Timothy Newman of Newport for child abduction. According to deputies, Newman is responsible for the disappearance of 12-year-old Abigale Lefevers, who was last seen at her Newport home Sunday night.

Newman's roommate, Van Jarmin, said he last saw Newman Sunday night. Jarmin said when he woke up Monday, Newman was gone.

"I couldn't believe it," Jarmin said. "He's already been in trouble before."

Newman was placed on the sex offender registry in 2005 in connection with two counts of engaging in a sex offense with a 14-year-old girl in Stokes County. He was released from prison in March.

Public records show a complaint was filed in early September against Newman for having contact with a minor. It's not clear if Abigale was the minor involved, but Jarmin said Newman and Abigale exchanged text messages often.

"From what I witnessed, it seemed like they were in love," he said. "From the outside looking in, it looked like him and his girlfriend were having good conversations every night."

Abigale's age was never communicated between the two roommates, but Jarmin said he had no idea the girl was so young.

"I want the little girl to get home safely," he said. "I'll get over it. I'll be OK, but I hope she will."

Abigale is described as a 5-foot-4 white female, weighing 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Her father said she was wearing black Nike shoes and carrying a pink backpack with peace signs.

Deputies said Newman was driving a red 1998 Chrysler Sebring with North Carolina license number AKT-6534. The car was last seen Monday morning on Highway 17, near the South Carolina border.