A California teacher was arrested for allegedly hiding a teenage boy for two years after he disappeared from his home. Holga Castillo Olivares, 61, was charged with detention of a minor with intent to conceal from a parent, a felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor, KCRA reported.
The teenager, Michael Ramirez, 17, is reportedly the son of Olivares' friend. Ramirez ran away from his Sacramento-area home after getting into a fight with his aunt and uncle over their stringent guidelines. Ramirez's parents reported him missing but police were unable to find him, till it was revealed that Olivares hid him in her home for over two years.
Teacher or Kidnapper?
Olivares, a teacher at the Alice Birney Waldorf-Inspired K-8 School in Sacramento, was charged with the detention of Ramirez in her house ever since his parents reported him missing on June 9, 2020, when he was 15 years old. He was last seen on May 18, 2020, and finally made it back to his Rancho Cordova home on March 11, 2022, according to the police.
After running away from his home, Ramirez went to the house of Olivares, a teacher who also happened to be the mother of Ramirez's teenage girlfriend, without their knowledge.
He spent two years living approximately 20 miles from his own house with Olivares and her family.
According to Ramirez's aunt, Olivares misled police when asked about the boy's whereabouts. In May of this year, Michael unexpectedly visited his aunt and uncle's house and requested to move back in.
When he revealed where he had been staying, they were furious but also relieved to welcome him home.
More than being furious about Olivares, Ramirez's family is relieved that the boy has returned home and is reunited with them. Katte Smith, the boy's guardian, "He felt like the grass was greener on the other side. We felt so robbed of all this time with him. You can't just hide someone's kid and think that's OK."
The allegations against Olivares, who was placed on administrative leave, "are for activities unrelated to the employee's assigned duties," according to the Sacramento City Unified School District. After kids were dismissed for the day, the teacher was "taken into custody at the school," the district said KCRA.
Olivares works at a K-8 school, but it's unclear if she was ever Michael's teacher.
She remains employed by the school district despite the charges. "There are no words that can really explain how you feel when you have a missing child. You think the worst. You think the absolute worst," Smith said.
Olivares has not yet responded to the charges.
"You can't just hide someone's kid and think that's OK," Smith added.