A California schoolteacher is facing charges after being accused of harboring a missing teenager in her home for nearly two years.
Holga Castillo Olivares, 61, was arrested Thursday following a monthslong investigation into the inexplicable return of the 17-year-old to his Sacramento-area home back in March, the Rancho Cordova Police Department said.
Michael Ramirez, then 15, was last seen leaving his Rancho Cordova home on May 18, 2020, and was officially reported missing a few weeks later, sparking what authorities called an “extensive search.”
“You think the worst. You think the absolute worst,” Katte Smith, one of the teen’s legal guardians, told local station KCRA of her family’s anguish.
Smith said Michael fled home after a disagreement over house rules. When he finally returned this spring, she said he told her that he had gone to stay at the home of his former childhood girlfriend, whose mother is Olivares.
“We felt so robbed of all this time with him,” Smith said. “You can’t just hide someone’s kid and think that’s OK.”
Olivares was charged last week with one felony count of concealing a minor and one misdemeanor count of luring a child away from their parents without the parents’ consent, according to a copy of the criminal complaint.
A spokesperson for the Sacramento County district attorney’s office was not able to say whether Olivares has an attorney. She was granted a pretrial release from custody Monday and ordered to have no contact with Michael or his guardians, CBS 13 reported.
The Sacramento City Unified School District confirmed her employment with the district and said that she has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a district investigation. A district spokesperson declined to comment further on the matter.