Marion County teacher arrested, accused of helping teen run away
By Carmen Carroquino, Associate Producer -
MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A Marion County military academy teacher has been suspended without pay after being arrested on allegations he helped a student run away from home.
Duane Ernest Adams, 54, is charged with one felony count of Interference with Child Custody. Ocala Police said he lied about knowing the whereabouts of a 15-year-old student at Francis Marion Military Academy.
The girl's mother said Adams was waiting outside of her home on Friday to take her daughter to school. After informing him she had already done so, she asked Adams to leave. The woman later learned her daughter did not go to school that day when she didn't return home.
On Saturday and Sunday, the 15-year-old's family contacted police, but were unable to locate her. Adams was one person contacted, but police said he denied knowing her whereabouts.
Then on Monday, police said they received a tip that the runaway teen was at a Steak N' Shake on Southwest College Road. Police found her there and took her home.
On Tuesday, both the girl and her family met with police, along with Adams, where he admitted to taking the girl from school and allowing her to stay at his apartment during school hours on Friday.
Police said Adams then drove her Daytona where they stayed in a motel for two nights, before driving her to the Ocala RV Campgrounds on Southwest 38th Avenue and renting a cabin for her for four days.
Police said Adams denies having any inappropriate physical contact with the teen.
An official for Francis Marion Military Academy told Fox 35 that Adams is suspended from his job without pay pending the results of the criminal investigation.