FROM STAFF REPORTS
KINGSLAND — Two men face child custody-related charges in connection with the case of a 15-year-old teen girl who was missing for 10 days after she walked off the Llano High School campus in early January. The girl was found Jan. 19 in a Kingsland residence.
Llano County sheriff’s deputies arrested Robert Carl Lawrence,18, and Samuel Hubert Hughes, 40, on Jan. 19 and charged them with interference with child custody, a state felony that is punishable by up to two years in jail with a conviction.
The charges coincided with the return of 15-year-old Calissa Gupton, initially reported missing Jan. 9 after she left school and did not return home.
The Llano County Sheriff’s Office worked with Child Protective Services and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to find her Jan. 19 at a residence in the 1200 block of Steen Street in Kingsland.
“They were hiding her,” Llano County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John Neff said. “She is a minor, and there are certain circumstances that make it that (an interference) charge versus harboring a runaway.”
According to the definition of interference with child custody in Texas Penal Code 25.03, a “non-custodial parent commits an offense if, with the intent to interfere with the lawful custody of a child younger than 18 years, the noncustodial parent knowingly entices or persuades the child to leave the custody of the custodial parent, guardian or person standing in the stead of a custodial parent …”
As of Jan. 24, the suspects remained in the Llano County Jail on bonds of $10,000 each.
Initial reports indicated the teen might have been in danger, not wanting to be found, and possibly at residences in Burnet, Cottonwood Shores, or Kingsland.