CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A man accused of lying to police as they searched for a missing 10-year-old girl faced a judge on Friday.
Aaron Reed, 31, of Central Falls, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with obstruction of an officer in the execution of duty.
The girl is now back home safe. Cranston police said she left on her own and was reported missing after no one had heard from her for at least a day.
After learning the girl may have contacted Reed, Central Falls officers went to his home. Reed told them he had no idea where the girl was, according to police, and she didn’t turn up during a sweep of the residence.
Cranston police said they later contacted Reed and he again said he had no knowledge of the girls’ whereabouts.
On Wednesday, the girl was found walking down Oaklawn Avenue with a woman who identified herself as Reed’s girlfriend, according to police. She reportedly said the girl was hiding under a bed in Reed’s home while he spoke to investigators.
“Every second that goes by is filled with extreme worry, anguish and the unknown by loved ones. This is a stark reminder to anyone who has critical information and misleads the police in the search of a missing person that you will be charged,” Cranston Police Chief Michal Winquist said. “This investigation could have been ended much sooner if Mr. Reed didn’t lie and provide false information to investigators. As a result, he is being charged appropriately.”
Police said Reed later admitted to lying because he’s a convicted sex offender. He also referred to the girl as his daughter while speaking with detectives but, according to police, that has not been confirmed by a DNA test.
No further charges are pending against Reed at this time, police said. He’s being held as a probation violator for a previous assault charge and he’s due back in court on Jan. 30.
Central Falls police are also investigating Reed and plan to charge him with failure to register as a sex offender and knowingly residing within 300 feet of a school.