U.S. News

Missing girl found hidden at acquaintance's home

HARTFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A teen-age Connecticut girl missing for nearly a year was found by police on Wednesday locked in a hidden room under the staircase of a home owned by a 41-year-old male known by her parents.

Danielle Cramer, a 15-year-old girl missing since June 14, 2006, was found in a room blocked by a heavy dresser when police visited the house to serve a search warrant in the case, said West Harford police Capt. Lori Coppinger.

“This poor child has been through a lot,” Bloomfield Police Capt. Jeffrey Blatter told a news conference.

It was unclear what the teen-ager, who was found scared and crying, had faced in captivity. “She was very quiet. She did not say much of anything,” Coppinger told reporters.

Adam Gault, 41, and Ann Murphy, 40, who lived in the single-family home, were arrested.

Gault was charged with unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and custodial interference. Murphy was charged with conspiracy and risk of injury charges.

It was unclear how she arrived at the home. Police said she had in the past run away from her family.

“She is a child from troubled circumstances and found what she believed to be a friend,” said Blatter.

Gault was known to the child’s family through business acquaintances, while Murphy was living as Gault’s common-law wife, added Blatter.

The discovery came as Missouri police found the body of a missing 18-year-old girl whose disappearance made national news after surveillance tape showed her leaving a store on Saturday before being apparently forced into a car in the parking lot.

Kelsey Smith’s body was found in a wooded area after a search by more than 200 federal agents, police officers and students, Kansas City’s KSHB-TV reported.