Deputies Find Missing Teens

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

Five people were taken away in handcuffs at the Windmill Mobile Home Park in Delhi Township after more than five hours of surveillance by police.

"We never see that many cops around here at one time," said Deborah Johnson, a neighbor who lives just down Tulip Way at the Windmill Mobile Home Park where the incident happened.

"Cops were all over the place," said Michelle Sturgill, another neighbor in Windmill.

Police were originally searching for one missing teen from Jackson County. When officers questioned three people at the home, all denied the missing teen was there.

"Then around 2 or 2:30 p.m. we saw maybe five or six police cars come through here--guys with helmets on shields, guns, and they just started storming this trailer," said Johnson.

"Next thing I know a cop gets out with a gun and a helmet on and told me go inside my house," said Sturgill.

Officers got a warrant and went inside the home. In all about eight officers were involved.

Inside they found a 26-year-old man hiding in the back bedroom underneath the bed, and not one but two teens-- both 15-years-old.

"Four cops cars, there was a white suburban and then two unmarked cars," said Sturgill.

"You never know what the situations are behind why people are harboring runaways, whether it's sex acts or something along those lines, so we take it very seriously," said Lt. Eric Trojanowicz of the Ingham County Sheriff's Office.

The mother lives in the red trailer next door to where the incident occurred. She says her two sons who lived in the gray trailer knew the teens had run away, but she would not be interviewed on camera.

"He's guilty and that's why he was hiding," said Trojanowicz. "He knew we were after him."

Now a 26-year-old man, his girlfriend and brother are all charged with misdemeanors for harboring runaways.

"When parents or people have juveniles over to their house for a certain period of time and they are not going home, then you as a parent must step back and take a look at the situation and say why isn't this person going home, why do they want to stay at my house," said Trojanowicz.

One neighbor said the teens had lived there for months. Police are investigating to determine if any criminal sexual activity took place.

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