Police: Man hid child’s location
Runaway allegedly told to use fake name
BEDFORD — A Johnstown man is accused of attempting to drive out of Pennsylvania with a female runaway.
Gordon Charles McClellan, 55, of 283 Cove St., faces a felony charge of concealment of the whereabouts of a child and a misdemeanor charge of interference with custody of committed persons.
McClellan reportedly transported the child victim from the Greencastle area in his truck on July 25 after learning the juvenile was a runaway from a foster home, according to a police complaint.
He allegedly removed the child “with the intent to conceal the child’s whereabouts from the child’s parent or guardian.” McClellan also reportedly instructed the victim to use a false name if anyone asked about her identity.
State police were searching for three juvenile females who ran away from a VisionQuest facility and learned they were riding in a truck tractor marked with the number 140 and a name starting with the letter “B.”
Police located a truck matching the description along Lincoln Highway in Snake Spring Township, Bedford County. Both the defendant and victim were in the truck, states the complaint. When questioned by police, the victim reportedly admitted she was 17 years old and one of the runaway juveniles.
The juvenile victim allegedly told police she and two 16-year-old runaways had the idea of going to the Bahamas to start a new life. All three of the runaways reportedly got a ride from a couple they met who drove them to a truck stop.
They were looking for a ride to Pittsburgh when they met the defendant at the truck stop, states the complaint. They all allegedly got in the truck, fell asleep and were already on the road when they awoke.
McClellan reportedly made a stop at a Sheetz in Johnstown, dropped the juveniles off and instructed them to wait for him there.
The juveniles allegedly met two other girls at Sheetz. Two of the runaways reportedly decided to stay with these girls in Johnstown while the victim met up with McClellan later.
McClellan allegedly drove to Chambersburg, where he and the victim stayed the night before leaving in the morning to head to Johnstown.
When pulled over by state police, McClellan allegedly instructed the victim to give a false name and offered to buy her designer clothing, states the complaint. The victim also reportedly told police the defendant knew she was a runaway and planned on driving to West Virginia before dropping her off in Ohio.
She reportedly said she hoped the two of them got pulled over because “it was very awkward.”
The defendant allegedly told police he picked the juveniles up in Greencastle and later learned they were running away from a foster home. He also told police he paid the runaways $30 to not talk to anyone, instructed the victim to use the false name Jasmine Nicole McClellan and offered to adopt the victim.
McClellan admitted to hearing on the radio that police were looking for three juvenile females the morning of July 25, according to police.
McClellan is in Bedford County Jail on $25,000 bail.
His preliminary hearing is Aug. 8
Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.