Five charged with concealing pair of juvenile runaways

Five Cambria County residents face charges for helping to conceal from authorities two juvenile runaways, according to court documents.

Shannan Lee Hicks, 40, Rebecca Carol Dredden, 22, Nyree Keyona Simmons, 48, Joel Isaac Towers, 37, and Carrie Ann Liddick, 39, all of Nanty Glo, face a total of 13 charges each, including two felony charges each of interference with custody of children, concealing the whereabouts of a child and endangering the welfare of children, along with two misdemeanor counts each of corruption of minors and selling/furnishing liquor to minors, a misdemeanor charge of interfering with custody of a committed person and two summary charges of corruption of minors.

Police had been searching for the juveniles since Feb. 10, when state police in Somerset responded to the Children’s Aid Home on the 1400 block of North Center Avenue in Somerset Township for a report of a runaway male juvenile. The boy was court appointed to be at the home and left through the front door, according to court documents. Despite a search of the area, he could not be located, police reported.

On March 1, police conducted a Facebook search of the boy and discovered a post showing a flier indicating a female juvenile was also missing and the two were in a relationship. The poster said it was believed the two juveniles were together. Police learned that the female ran away Feb. 28 from a home located on the 300 block of Mill Creek Hollow Road in Upper Yoder Township, Cambria County.

Police got a break in the case on June 5 when a witness showed the investigating officer photos she had received via text message that pictured the two juveniles at the beach. She also had photos of the two that appeared to have been taken at Liddick’s residence on the 800 block of First Street in Nanty Glo Borough.

That same day, the officer contacted AT&T wireless to request pings off the boy’s cellphone. Those pings consistently hit in Florence County, South Carolina, near the town of Florence, court documents state.

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office was contacted to search for the juveniles, and on June 6, officers found both teens and took them into custody.

The two were transported back to Pennsylvania, and on June 27, an officer interviewed the female at the Somerset police barracks. She told police that she ran away from a relative’s home on Feb. 28 by walking out of the house and down the street where she got into Liddick’s van. Liddick went to her house in Nanty Glo, the girl said, and two days later, Liddick drove the girl to Somerset where they picked up the male juvenile in an alley. All three returned to Nanty Glo, the girl told police.

The girl said that Simmons, Hicks, Dredden and Towers were all living in the Nanty Glo house and everyone knew they were runaways. She told police that Liddick would take them to her house in Windber whenever she thought the police were coming to look for them. In addition, the girl said she and the boy would sometimes hide under the front stairs or go out the back window and hide under the back porch when police showed up.

Liddick would take them to Erie, too, the girl said, and they would get a hotel room. Liddick provided them with marijuana and alcohol, the girl told police.

Once, when they were in Johnstown, Towers called to say the police were looking for them and Liddick took them to Quecreek to stay, court documents state. After that, they went to South Carolina, the girl said.

The girl told police Liddick knew they were runaways and said she was going to help the girl run. Liddick also bought the cellphone the boy was using and would cash app them money, the girl told police.

Based on the girl’s account, police filed charges against all five adults.

Simmons and Dredden were arraigned Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Mary Ann Zanghi and released on $15,000 unsecured bail. Both face preliminary hearings Aug. 22 before Zanghi.

Court records indicate Towers is awaiting a preliminary hearing and Liddick’s case remains inactive, as is Hicks’ case.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today