TRENTON, Ohio -- Police were surprised and relieved Tuesday after finding a 17-year-old, who had been missing for two months, hiding unharmed in the closet of a Middletown home.
“We were all thrilled, very thankful,” Trenton Police Chief Arthur Scott told the Journal-News after locating Loretta Norvell.
Norvell, however, was not so happy.
Norvell, a student at Edgewood High School, told police she was disappointed she was found, Scott said
She turns 18 in several months, and Scott said he believes she wanted to remain hidden until she was a legal adult.
Scott said police officers did ask Norvell why she left her Trenton home, but he said the department wasn’t releasing that information because the investigation is active.
Lucinda and Robert Bryant -- the occupants of the Middletown home where Norvell was found – have been charged with falsification, obstruction of justice, and interference with custody, according to the Trenton police chief.
Police said unruly juvenile charges will be filed against Norvell, who is in the custody of Butler County Children Services.
Norvell’s biological father lives on the West Coast and her mother lives in Middletown. Neither has contact with Norvell, the police chief said.
Scott said he’d “hate to guess” the number of man hours spent searching for Norvell the last two months.
Initially, he said, the department considered her a runaway and put out her photo on social media. But after a few days, when the department received no tips about her location, Scott became “more and more” concerned.
During one of the visits to the Dartmouth Street home, Trenton officers noticed that her aunt and legal guardian Norvell Berry had discarded her niece’s bedding and removed carpet from the home.
He said those actions “raised concerns” about her involvement. But Scott believes Norvell Berry cleaned up the house because she was concerned about another inspection from Butler County Children Services.