Man faces felony charge for helping Forest Lake runaway teen hide
A Minnesota man is facing a criminal charge for helping a Forest Lake teen who was reported missing earlier this year hide from her family and law enforcement.
Pine County prosecutors charged 36-year-old Shawn Patrick Bellach with depriving parents of their custodial rights, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
The charge stems from a missing person case in May.
Court documents state that Pine County investigators and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents were looking into the case of 14-year-old Desiray Kappes, who was reported missing on May 19, after she left on her peddle bike with a trailer and two cats.
While reviewing her phone records, agents found messages between the girl and an account that was traced back to Bellach — an ex-boyfriend of Kappes’ mother. A criminal complaint states that Bellach had also lived with Kappes and her mother in the past months and, a week after Kappes was reported missing, told police he didn’t like how Kappes’ mother raised her to live as a homeless person.
After agents found a bike trailer at Bellach’s home that matched the one Kappes left with, charging documents state that agents traced two cellphones connected to his Google account and found their uses created an intersection at a Pine County home. The owners of that home were found to be Facebook friends with Bellach who regularly talked with him.
A complaint states that investigators searched that home on July 21 and found Kappes hiding in a closet with her hair in front of her face. Bellach was then arrested.
While he was taken to jail, the complaint adds that Bellach claimed he was trying to help Kappes by hiding her because she was being abused by her parents. One of the homeowners also said she though she was doing a good thing by letting Kappes stay on the property based on what Bellach told her.
Bellach made his first court appearance on Monday and had his bail set at $40,000 without conditions or $20,000 with conditions. His next hearing is set for Aug. 7.