A Tiverton man has been charged after a missing girl was found in his basement.
According to Tiverton Police, On Wednesday, July 7, Tiverton Police arrested William Caldwel Stewart, 19, of 44 High Hill Road, after being alerted by Pennsylvania State Police that a 13-year-old female they were seeking as a possible runaway might be at that location.
Pennsylvania authorities reported that the missing female in question had been missing for approximately one week. They also stated that they had been pinging her phone and it had been turned off, but then abruptly turned on. A friend of the missing girl provided a Snapchat photo that showed houses in the area of 44 High Hill Road in Tiverton. According to Pennsylvania authorities, the friend also reported that the girl was being held against her will.
Tiverton officers responded to the home and located Stewart and the missing girl in the basement. After speaking with the girl, officers took Stewart into custody.
The girl was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for evaluation.
Preliminary investigation revealed that Stewart met the juvenile female online. Stewart picked her up at her home in Pennsylvania approximately one week earlier. The two stayed at several locations before arriving in Rhode Island on or about July 4.
Preliminary investigation further revealed that although other family members were present at the home, there was no evidence that they were aware of the girl’s true age. Officers believe that both Stewart and the missing girl misrepresented her age.
The matter remains under investigation including whether the juvenile female was being held against her will.
Stewart was arraigned in Second Division District Court on July 8th and was ordered held without bail.
The juvenile female was turned over to the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families.