Charlotte County, FL – A Charlotte high school teacher was arrested after police found a missing, endangered male student hiding in her home.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) said the teen left home on Aug. 12 after an argument with a family member who accused him of stealing $100, WINK reported.
When he was reported missing, the report said the boy didn’t take his medication, phone, or bank card with him.
The boy did not show up at school, WINK reported.
The sheriff’s department put out an alert on social media on Aug. 15, calling the teen “missing and endangered.”
Deputies received a tip the next day that the last place the missing boy had been seen was at an address in Punta Gorda, WINK reported.
Investigators went to the address on Aug. 16 and talked to the people there who told them the missing boy had been there but was picked up by a woman named Kelly a day earlier.
The woman was identified as 31-year-old Charlotte High School teacher, Kelly Simpson, WINK reported.
Deputies went to Simpson’s home and interviewed her.
The teacher admitted that she had picked up the teen but claimed she later dropped him off at a gas station, WINK reported.
Deputies said Simpson admitted that she knew the boy was “missing” and authorities were looking for him when she gave him the ride.
When deputies asked to search the teacher’s home for the missing boy, she told them no because he wasn’t there, according to the police report.
Deputies told her that it would be a quick search if the teen wasn’t there, WINK reported.
Simpson asked what would happen if she refused to let the deputies search her home and was told that she could be charged with a crime.
At that point, she told deputies that she would go inside and have the missing boy come out and talk to them, WINK reported.
The boy told investigators that he had spent the night at Simpson’s house and that he had shown her the post about his disappearance on the sheriff’s Facebook page.
He said that Simpson told him they’d deal with it the next day, and then deputies showed up at the front door, WINK reported.
Simpson was arrested and charged with interfering with the custody of a minor.
Authorities have not released any details about what Simpson’s motive was for harboring the missing boy, WFLA reported.