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Rogers County Teen Jailed For Hiding 12-Year-Old Runaway

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Hunter Hines Hunter Hines
Rogers County deputies spread out on the ground and Sheriff Scott Walton flew with our SkyNews 6 crew, looking for possible hiding places. Rogers County deputies spread out on the ground and Sheriff Scott Walton flew with our SkyNews 6 crew, looking for possible hiding places.
Sgt. John Adams, with Tulsa Police. Sgt. John Adams, with Tulsa Police.
CATOOSA, Oklahoma -

Cases like the one in Cleveland, where three women were found this week after a decade of being held captive, get a lot of media attention, because they are so heinous and thankfully rare.

But police say it's much more common for a child to runway than be kidnapped. It happens hundreds of times a day in this country and, often, terrible things happen to children on the run.

Police say an average of four kids are reported as runaways in Tulsa every day.

When 12-year-old Aspen Fitch ran away earlier this week, her mother immediately jumped into action, spreading the word and trying to track down who her daughter had been communicating with.

She eventually learned Aspen was with a family friend, 18-year-old Hunter Hines, and police put out a flyer with their pictures.

At one point, the kids were spotted in a Catoosa parking lot, but they dropped their backpacks and aluminum foil wrapped cell phones and ran into a nearby wooded area.

Rogers County deputies spread out on the ground and Sheriff Scott Walton flew with our SkyNews 6 crew, looking for possible hiding places. Our pilot spotted an abandoned camper and deputies later found one of Aspen's flip-flops there.

The kids were recovered Wednesday night.

Now, Aspen is home and Hines was arrested for harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. He was jailed on a $50,000 bond.

Investigators are looking into whether Aspen was harmed during her few days on the run.

Her mother didn't want to talk on camera, but she said the entire ordeal has been terrible. She said she never thought this would happen to her child. She said they have a good home and she takes care of her kids, and when it happened she was thrust into a world of panic, trying to get her daughter back.

"When a child runs away, there's no socioeconomic boundaries. It doesn't just happen to one class of people," said Sgt. John Adams, with Tulsa Police.

Since running away is not a crime, police are limited on what they can do, unless a parent goes to court to get a runaway warrant. That allows police to take the child into custody when spotted.

Police were particularly worried in this case, because Aspen is so young.

"They're naive, they don't know how the world operates, don't know how people operate," Adams said.

Court records show Aspen's mother filed a protective order against Hunter Hines on her daughter's behalf Thursday. The protective order shows he convinced her to run away at 2 a.m. on Monday and hid her for three days.

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