More charges likely after Trenton teen missing for 2 months found safe

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Two Middletown adults were arrested in connection with missing teen Loretta Norvell, who was found safe this morning.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Loretta Norvell, a Trenton teenager missing for two months, was found Tuesday unharmed hiding in the closet of a Middletown home.

The occupants of the home, Lucinda and Robert Bryant, both 47, were arrested. And now police say more people could be charged in connection to the teen’s disappearance.

“Who all knew where she was and didn’t tell us the truth?” Trenton police Chief Arthur Scott said.

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Norvell, 17, was reported missing from her Dartmouth Street home on Jan. 14.

Trenton police were searching a home in the 4800 block of Caprice Drive to collect computers after phone and social media records indicated residents there might have information about the girl’s whereabouts, Scott said.

He said the teen was not held against her will and was not kidnapped, but the couple was “hiding information” from police.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” Scott told this news outlet after police served a search warrant at the Middletown home. “It was very nice to find her healthy and well.”

The Bryants were charged with falsification, obstruction of justice, and interference with custody, according to the Trenton police chief.

He said the couple and Norvell are connected through the teen’s boyfriend, but did not specify the exact relationship.

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Police have not yet disclosed why Norvell left home and who else may have been involved in her disappearance.

At the time she went missing, police said they believed the Edgewood High School student left home in the middle of the night to meet her boyfriend and someone else at a gas station, but she never arrived.

The Bryants were arraigned Wednesday morning in Middletown Municipal Court, where they asked for a continuance to retain attorneys.

They are no longer in jail, records show.

Police said unruly juvenile charges will be filed against Norvell, who is in the custody of Butler County Children Services.

Tammie Souders, who has lived next to the Bryants for 12 years, said she never saw the missing girl in the house.

“I’m kind of surprised,” Souders told the Journal-News. “I mean I don’t know the whole story. I don’t know anything about the girl or what her reason was for leaving.”

Involved in the investigation were Middletown and Miami University police, the Ohio Bureau of Investigation, the Missing and Abused Children Center in Washington, D.C., and the Buckeye Search and Rescue Dogs team of Southwest Ohio, Scott said.

Police spent one day with canine officers searching an area where they thought Norvell may have been heading, he said.

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