Boyfriend Arrested For Running Away With Teen Girl
By Mike Perleberg
(Logan Township, Ind.) – A West Harrison man is accused of facilitating a 15-year-old girl’s running away from home.
Police and firefighters were called out Tuesday night to search for the teen girl in the area of Whites Hill Road in northern Dearborn County.
According to a court affidavit, the situation began when Thomas O’Neill, 18, walked to his girlfriend’s home to speak with her. The girl’s father asked him to leave the home which led to a verbal argument. O’Neill left, but the girl – without her parent’s permission – ran after him. The two were seen running into the nearby woods together about 7:30 p.m.
Dearborn County Sheriff’s investigators say the girl was wearing only sweat pants, a hoodie, and slippers on a night when the low temperature dipped well below zero. Her parents and authorities feared for her safety, so a search was ordered.
After four hours, O’Neill and the girl were found hiding in a barn on nearby Cranes Run Road at around midnight.
O’Neill allegedly told investigators that he and his girlfriend had no intention of going back to her home. He said they did not know what their next move was going to be because they were just trying to get warm, according to the affidavit.
O’Neill was arrested and charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Class A misdemeanor). The sheriff’s department said O’Neill could face additional charges. He remains held in jail at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center as of Thursday morning.