Missing teen girl found; three adults face charges

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2004

Vicksburg Police Patrolman Bobby Jones, left, and Investigator James Hudson stand in front of 706 Clark St. where Shauna Jo Maxine Couch was found Thursday.(Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[1/16/04]A Vicksburg teen who was feared abducted for more than a week was found Thursday, and three adults were accused of helping her stay away from home.

Shauna Jo Maxine Couch, 16, 1826 MacArthur Drive, ran away from home on Jan. 7, police spokesman DaVon Grey said today.

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The three accused are Clyde B. Stinson, 25, 706 Clark St., Apt. 5; Stinson’s sister Larissa Barrett, 30, 42 Wigwam Road; and Timothy L. Reeves, 24, 2604 Roosevelt Ave.

All were free on bond this morning; they were charged with misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Grey said.

Police found Couch at Stinson’s home at about 12:50 p.m., Grey said.

Information provided to them had allowed them to intensify their search for her about five hours earlier. Acting on an anonymous tip, they surrounded the residence at 42 Wigwam Road, a mobile home, at 7:30 a.m., Grey said. Couch had fled the mobile home before police arrived, Grey said.

After searching the wooded area around the home and following up on other leads, police found Couch and Stinson at his home.

Shauna is the daughter of Mary and Jackie Couch. Later that day she was returned to her residence. Mary Couch said this morning that Shauna had lost about 10 pounds and was sleeping.

“She had some drugs in her system that she’d never taken before,” her mother said, adding she suspected she had been taking illegal drugs.

Although Shauna was classified as a runaway instead of an abducted person, her grandfather said Wednesday finding her was urgent because she was taking prescription medication. He said she needed the medication to remain stable and had left it behind when she left.

Shauna attended Vicksburg High School earlier this year but was being home-schooled when she was reported missing, Jackie Couch said.

Police were told on Jan. 8 Shauna was reported last seen Jan. 7 getting into a gray car on East Avenue near her home.

Her grandfather said Shauna went missing after the family said they would be moving to Missouri in the next few days, and she did not want to move.

“After the first few days they knew she was a runaway, but they kept doing it,” Mary Couch said of the three adults. “I don’t understand that.

“She is safe,” Mary Couch added. “That’s the main thing.”

It was not known how the accused people knew or befriended the teen. The misdemeanor charges, returnable to Municipal Court, carry fines and the possibility of brief jail terms.