An Ohio teenager who witnessed his father’s fatal shooting last year and then disappeared unscathed found in a house where he was hidden, the whole time, without going to school or seeing friends, police said.
Researchers say that they are now looking for the how and why different people hid 15-year-old Jacob Caldwell, who was found this week after months of searching.
Caldwell appeared to be healthy and there were no signs that he was detained or restrained against his will in the house just outside Dayton, said Sugarcreek Township Police Chief Michael Brown.
He was discovered Monday night after investigators received an anonymous tip that he would be in the house, Brown said, adding four adults were also found in the house at the time.
He said Caldwell was not very talkative and appeared nonchalant after detectives took him out of the house. The teen long hair, that looked like it hasn’t been cut in a year, is about the only thing that indicates he had been kept isolated, according to Brown.
The teenager was last seen on Aug. 21, 2017, less than a week after he and his two younger brothers and sisters, witnessed his father’s fatal shooting in a parking lot outside an office park near Dayton.
Authorities in March charged six people, including the mother of the boy in the shooting of Robert Caldwell, who died a few weeks after winning custody of his children. His ex-wife and another man were charged with murder in the shooting and are awaiting trial.
Jacob Caldwell and his brothers began living with his grandparents after the shooting, but he left their house. Researchers believe that he ran away at the encouragement of someone, Brown said. The two younger brothers remained with their grandparents.
“We have always had the feeling that he was in order,” he said. “We had a feeling, a very strong feeling it was a family member that was involved.”
The four adults found in the house were employees of his mother’s family members, the head of the police said. No charges have been filed yet.
Caldwell was found in a basement, where he usually slept, and found that he was able to move freely in the house, Brown said.
The teen, who authorities say has a history of running away, is in a juvenile detention center, because he was of the house. He was being held on a coarse cost in associated with him to run away before the shooting, Brown said.