Calif. LEOs find missing girl under trapdoor; 3 arrested

The 14-year-old girl had been missing for a week, officials said

By Andrew Chamings
SFGate, San Francisco

CALAVERAS COUNTY, Calif. — After a week-long search, a missing 14-year-old girl was found on Friday, hiding beneath a house in West Point, Calaveras County.

The girl, named as "Kaylee" in the Calaveras County Sheriff's statement on Facebook, was located under a hidden "trapdoor" that led to a makeshift sleeping area located on the dirt floor, where she was found hiding behind some hanging clothes.

These images show a hidden trapdoor under which detectives found a missing, 14-year-old girl in Calaveras County, California.
These images show a hidden trapdoor under which detectives found a missing, 14-year-old girl in Calaveras County, California. (Calaveras County Sheriff's Office)

The girl was found to be unharmed. After she was removed from the hidden compartment, detectives also found bedding and the girl's phone.

The 14-year-old had been missing for over a week since visiting a friend's home in the community around 70 miles northeast of Modesto.

Officials reported that the teen had been given permission to spend a few nights at the home, but when her mother went to pick her up she was told that her daughter had left by the home's residents. The girl's parents notified the Sheriff's Office on Oct. 22.

In the following days, deputies carried out an investigation that included searching the girl's social media, talking to friends, canvassing neighborhoods and searching areas around the home, her last-known location.

Occupants at the residence told deputies that the girl was not there, and was last seen walking down the driveway. Detectives then initiated a missing person's investigation.

The residence had already been searched by patrol deputies, but during a second visit on Friday, detectives were met by the occupants on the front yard of the home. The occupants insisted that the girl was not there and that they knew nothing.

The detectives then searched the property with a warrant, and found the girl hiding "deep within the corners of two adjoining closets."

West Point residents Isaiah Haggard, 20, and Annie Pearl Abernathy, 41, were arrested on charges that include providing false information to a peace officer, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and felony child endangerment.

A third West Point resident, Jose Tinocopureco, 34, was arrested on suspicion of providing false information to a peace officer and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Haggard and Abernathy are each being held on $100,000 bail. Tinocopureco was booked and released with a citation for the misdemeanor charges.

Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues, the Sheriff's Office reported.


MEDIA RELEASE Contact: Sergeant Greg Stark Release Date: November 2, 2020 Release Time: 11:50 AM Update (3) Arrests...

Posted by Calaveras County Sheriff's Office on Monday, November 2, 2020

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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