A Fairfax County school teacher was charged with sex crimes involving a teen Friday after he attempted to flee the country, authorities announced.

Matthew Snell, 31, of Maryland, was taken into custody at the El Paso International Airport following a rapidly developing investigation, Fairfax County police said. Snell was working as a teacher focused on students with learning disabilities at Thoreau Middle School in Vienna.

Fairfax County police said they began investigating Snell on Thursday after parents found inappropriate text messages from Snell to a teen and reported it to the school. Police declined to say whether the victim was a student at Thoreau.

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Police said Snell became aware of the investigation and left the area as arrest warrants were being authorized. He was tracked to El Paso, where he was taken into custody.

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Authorities plan to seek to extradite Snell to Fairfax County to face charges of carnal knowledge of a child and taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship.

Police asked anyone who may have additional information about inappropriate contact between Snell and students to call detectives at 703-246-7800.

Fairfax County schools officials said they were in the process of terminating Snell’s employment.

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