Authorities added kidnapping charges Wednesday against a man and two women accused in the yearlong disappearance of a teenage runaway who was found locked in a hidden room in their home.
Adam Gault, 41, and the women were scheduled to appear in court later Wednesday to face the new charges. All three previously pleaded not guilty to charges including reckless endangerment.
“It is our belief that the manner in which Adam Gault pursued the juvenile was the equivalent of using force,” Bloomfield Police Capt. Jeffrey Blatter said. He said could not provide more details about how Gault allegedly pursued the girl. The warrant is sealed for 14 days because it involves a sexual assault case.
Gault has denied having sexual contact with the girl, who authorities say ran away from her Bloomfield home in June 2006 when she was 14 and moved in with Gault, a man who had worked with her stepfather years earlier.
Police had feared the girl was dead when they began searching his home on June 6. An officer pushed aside a dresser, discovered a small door and found the girl in the locked storage area.
Authorities arrested Gault and two women who lived with him, Ann Murphy, 40, and Kimberly Cray, 26.
Gault previously pleaded not guilty to a list of charges including sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, custodial interference, interfering with a police officer and forgery. He was being held on $1.5 million bond.
The two women had already pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint, conspiracy to commit risk of injury to a minor and interfering with police. On Wednesday, charges of kidnapping, hindering prosecution and risk of injury to a minor were added. Murphy was being held on $750,000 bond, and Cray on $500,000 bond.
The Associated Press is not identifying the girl or her parents to protect her identity, because of the alleged sexual assaults.