Authorities in California have alleged that a second-grade teacher hid a boy who had been reported missing two years ago.
Sacramento teacher Holga Castillo Olivares was arrested on Thursday in relation to the disappearance of Michael Ramirez, who was 15 at the time, the Rancho Cordova Police Department announced on Friday.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office records show that the last sighting of Ramirez was on May 18, 2020, however he was not reported missing until several weeks later.
Ramirez’s legal guardian, Katte Smith, said Ramirez had stormed out of their home after an intense argument about house rules. “He felt like the grass was greener on the other side,” Smith told KCRA.
Smith said that the family filed a missing person’s report on June 9 but were unable to find Ramirez for two years. While Ramirez was missing, police conducted many interviews, including Olivares, but they didn’t find any leads.
On March 11, 2022, Ramirez reappeared at the family home, asking if he could move back in. He told Smith he had been staying at the home of Olivares, who is the mother of one of his friends.
Smith said she felt “robbed” of precious time with Ramirez. “You can’t just hide someone’s kid and think that’s OK,” Smith told KCRA.
Olivares was charged last Thursday with detaining a minor with the intent to conceal from a parent, which is a felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Olivares is currently in custody and has been denied bond. She was scheduled to make a court appearance on Monday afternoon.
The Sacramento city unified school district released a statement confirming that Olivares is a district employee, and that she has been placed on leave while they conduct their own investigation.
“The charges filed are for acts unrelated to the employee’s assigned duties. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a District investigation. As this is a personnel matter, Sac City Unified has no further comment,” the district said in the news release.
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