LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– A Maryland man will avoid serving prison time after helping a 16-year-old Hanover-area runaway hide from her parents over a six-day period.
Richard Hood, 24, pleaded guilty in on Wednesday to concealing the whereabouts of a child.
As a part of the agreed upon plea agreement, Hood will be on probation for five years.
Hood met the teen on the internet in January 2017. On January 30, Hood drove to a home in Westminster, Maryland to meet her, but she wasn’t there. He left after learning she was 16 years-old.
The teen was reported missing on March 24. The teen’s father called Hood, demanding to know where his daughter was, but Hood denied knowing her whereabouts.
U.S. Marshals found her hiding under a pile of clothing in Hood’s bedroom in southern Maryland on March 28, according to the criminal complaint.
During an interview with the FBI, Hood told them the teen cut and dyed her hair and that he purchased the dye. He also said he bought two prepaid phones and hid one near the teen’s home for her to use to communicate with him before she ran away with him, court documents state.
After picking her up on March 23, Hood told authorities he initially took her to his home. Fearing police would find her there, Hood said he then took her to a friend’s house where she stayed in a vehicle for two nights. Hood told investigators he was aware that police were searching for the teen after seeing reports in the media.
Now, Hood will serve probation.