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Couple charged after missing teen found hiding in closet

Published: Mar. 15, 2017 at 2:50 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2017 at 10:50 PM EDT
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TRENTON, OH (FOX19) - A husband and wife are facing charges in connection to a missing teen found hiding in a closet Tuesday.

17-year-old Loretta Norvell reportedly disappeared from her Dartmouth Street home on Jan. 14.

Trenton Police said the case "ended abruptly" when authorities found Norvell hiding in a closet at a home on Caprice Drive in Middletown. She was unharmed and in good health, police report.

Police arrested Lucinda Bryant, 47, and her husband, Robert Bryant Sr., 47, at the home. The couple is charged with falsification, obstruction of justice, and interference with custody.

Phone and computer records connected the Bryants' home to the missing person investigation, according to Trenton Police Chief Arthur Scott.

"We didn't' really expect to find her there when we executed the search warrant," Scott said.

Scott says Norvell was not being held against her will and that she had been at the home "for quite a while."

The Bryants are Loretta's boyfriend's aunt and uncle, officials say.

Investigators said other individuals will likely be charged in the case.

"While there is evidence that Loretta may have run away from her home, that evidence is somewhat inconclusive. Our investigators are, however, moving forward and we consider her a "missing person" at this time," the Trenton Police Department posted on Facebook after she disappeared.

A neighbor said he was shocked when he learned about what happened.

"I was shocked. I couldn't believe it really. I hadn't seen her the whole time," Mike Becraft said.

He described the couple as good and hardworking, and never expected that they would be accused of hiding out a missing teen.

"We work on our cars together. We do all of our yard work together nothing different," Becraft said.

Norvell is a student at Edgewood High School.

The Trenton Police Department searched over 350 acres of property, executed a number of search warrants and conducted many interviews with friends and family over the past two months.

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