FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A 13-year-old diagnosed with autism was reported missing just after 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. She had run away from her guardians while in the 500 block of E. Deerfield.
At approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday as officers were still actively searching for the child, she was spotted by a City Utilities bus driver at a bus stop near the intersection of Campbell and Broadmoor while in the care of Harold J. Brooks (11/1/57).
During the course of the investigation, it has been determined that the child had come across Brooks on a sidewalk along Campbell Ave. After their initial conversation, he took the child to his residence at 2561 S. South Place #B where she spent the night. It has also been determined that there was no prior relationship between Brooks and the child and that the child’s guardians did not give Brooks permission to have the child in his custody. The Springfield Police Department arrested Brooks on probable cause Wednesday night, and the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Brooks today with first-degree child kidnapping. His bond is set at $500,000. The charge announced herein is merely an accusation, and Brooks is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This investigation is ongoing and is in its very early stages, and it is possible that additional charges could be presented to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in the future.
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Case number: 16-53987
Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer
Release authorized by: Lt. Culley Wilson