A Florida teacher has been arrested for allegedly concealing a boy who was reported missing.
Kelly Joyce Simpson, 31, was arrested on Tuesday by the Charlotte County sheriff’s department.
In a statement, the sheriff’s office said Ms Simpson, a teacher at Charlotte County Public Schools, was arrested for “interfering with the custody of a minor after picking the juvenile up from an unknown location and concealing him inside her home while having knowledge of his missing endangered status”.
Authorities said they were attempting to locate the missing juvenile who was reported missing by his parents on 12 August.
Investigators reached Ms Simpson’s home after they received information in connection with the case of the “missing/endangered” juvenile.
Patrol officers reached a home over the case on 12 August as per a probable cause affidavit, reported Law and Crime.
The juvenile had allegedly left his home after an argument over a stolen sum of $100.
Authorities categorised the search as “missing/endangered” as the boy had left without his cellphone, medication, bank card other electronics, mode of transportation or contact.
Authorities said his only social media was a Snapchat account that featured no recent activity.
He also allegedly left no note of his whereabouts.
The affidavit stated that one of investigators in the case had received a tip off that the boy was at an address in the city of Punta Gorda.
Investigators spoke to someone who lives there and found the boy stayed at the address for several days but was picked up on Monday by “a female named Kelly”.
When investigators reached Ms Simpson’s home, she admitted to knowing the boy but denied he was in her home.
“Sergeant C Kearney for the Criminal Investigations Unit proceeded into the conversation advising Kelly that if later on the investigation it was discovered that [REDACTED] was in the home that she could be charged with a crime,” the affidavit said.
The boy came out 10 minutes later and agreed to give a recorded statement that Ms Simpson had kept him with the knowledge that he was reported missing.
Online records showed the public school teacher was arrested on Tuesday and posted a $5,000 bond on Wednesday.
“Charlotte County Public Schools takes an incident such as this very seriously,” it said in a statement to WINK-TV.
“The safety, protection and well-being of our students is a top priority. The teacher arrested was employed at Charlotte High School and has been placed on Administrative Leave,” it added.
“Charlotte County Public Schools can not comment on the arrest as there is an ongoing investigation by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.”