A California couple's nightmare is now over after their missing daughter has been found. The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office said that the 14-year-old girl was reported missing on October 22 after she failed to return home from a sleepover. The girl's parents said that she had their permission to spend the night at a friend's home in West Point, 20 miles east of Jackson in the Sierra foothills. When her family went to collect her, the occupants of the home said that she'd left earlier on foot. The young girl's family went into a panic when she didn't return home.
The unidentified girl's family filed a missing persons report and the Calaveras police began a search for her. The authorities searched the home where the girl was last seen and found no trace of her. . . until days later.
According to reports on the evening of Oct. 30, having received a search warrant, deputies returned to the West Point house. Though the residents again insisted the girl was not there, another search was conducted.
She was found “intentionally hiding” among clothes hanging at the corner of two adjoining closets.
“As deputies continued to search the residence for evidence, they located a hidden ‘trapdoor’ that led to a makeshift sleeping area located on the dirt floor under the house,” the sheriff’s report said. “Inside the sleeping area, detectives located bedding and a phone belonging to [the girl].”
Three people were arrested:
Isaiah Haggard, 20, and Annie Pearl Abernathy, 41. Accused of providing false information to a peace officer, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and felony child endangerment. Held on $100,000 bail each.
Jose Tinocopureco, 34. Accused of providing false information to a peace officer and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Booked and released with a citation for the misdemeanor charges.
The girl, who authorities said "intentionally" hid, was later reunited with her parents.
In a case like this, the girl's parents did the right thing by insisting that the police search the home again. The adults who hid her deserve every bit of jail time that they get!