Police find missing girl, charge teen who hid her
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | November 30,2012
Vermont State Police said they have located a runaway teenager and charged a Rutland youth who helped hide her.
Police said that 15-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Papineau, who ran away from her Chittenden home early Tuesday morning, was found hiding in the basement of a Forest Street house Wednesday afternoon. Cory J. Munger, 17, who police said misled them as they searched for her, was charged with second-degree unlawful restraint and giving false information to a police officer. Munger was cited to appear in court in January.
Trooper Aron McNeil said he was unsure what the relationship was between Munger and Papineau and that the Forest Street house where she was found was home to another of their friends. McNeil said Papineau ran away “because of issues with her parents.
“We had no specific reason she ran away,” he said. “She had been planning it for four days. ... We received information she may have been trying to reach New York state. We never confirmed that.”
McNeil said he spent two full days on the search for Papineau, following 25 to 30 leads before an examination of Facebook pages indicated she and Munger were together. He also said Munger denied having heard from Papineau despite phone records showing they had spoken an hour earlier.
State police cooperated with city police in the investigation, and because of that, they were also able to locate two other missing juveniles. Police said a third teenage runaway, 15-year-old Trinity Smith, remained at large Thursday afternoon.
“She’s been running since last week and she’s playing hide-and-seek, actually, because she’s been seen all over town but when we get there she’s gone,” Rutland City Police Officer Kevin Blongy said.
Blongy said Smith, Papineau and the other two girls were part of the same social circle and that police believed they were planning to run away together.
Smith is described as 5-feet 10-inches tall, 110 pounds with blue eyes and shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact police at 773-1816.
McNeil said Papineau was turned over to the custody of the state Department for Children and Families.