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SPENCER, Iowa | Two Spencer, Iowa, residents are accused of hiding a girl who ran away from home four months ago. Police are investigating whether additional people will face charges.

Officers executing a search warrant found Brenna Steven, 16, hiding inside a couch in a house on the 400 block of East Park Street about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, said Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson.

A 16-year-old boy and his mother, Alexandra Henry, 34, each were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of harboring a runaway.

Henry and her son claimed they didn't know Steven was missing, but officials don't believe them, Lawson said.

He said Wednesday's search was the fifth time officers had looked for Steven in the house. A large banner with information about the girl's missing status, including her photo, was displayed near the residence where she was found.

Steven's father reported his daughter as a runaway in July. Worried about her safety, police asked for the public's help in finding the teen.

Officers worked with local, state and out-of-state police to investigate her whereabouts. One person underwent a polygraph examination by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Now, police believe Steven left home because she and her father weren't getting along. She stayed at the East Park Street house for most of the four months she was missing, Lawson said.

She was returned to her parents Wednesday.

The investigation is continuing.


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