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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Three juveniles reported missing found in early-morning hours

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bartholomew J. Gurcheik III
Law enforcement officers were busy looking for three reported missing juveniles the first evening after school let out Thursday and into early Friday morning.

According to BCPD Sgt. Dennis Archer, certain details of the investigation will not be released due to the ongoing investigation and to protect the identity of the three females involved.

However, Archer confirmed to The Brazil Times that ultimately four officers of the Brazil City Police Department and two officers from the Clay County Sheriff's Department were involved in the investigation to find the juveniles, who at one point were reportedly abducted.

"This whole situation created a strain on both departments," Archer said. "Two of our officers, who would not normally be on duty, were pulled away from their duties as part of Operation Pull Over to work this case and county provided us with two deputies. It is a huge benefit that our departments work so well together."

According to Archer, the investigation began when a concerned parent reported to Patrolman Jeff Bucklin their daughter had not returned home at an assigned time. The parent also reported a friend came to the house to collect their "daughter's belongings" and told where she was.

Unable to find the missing female at the reported address, Bucklin and fellow officers BCPD Patrolman/K-9 Handler Kenny Hill and Patrolman Jeremy Mace and CCSD Deputy/K-9 Handler Brison Swearingen and Deputy Brady Hardy began to patrol Brazil and question juveniles out walking around Brazil, and subsequently at two separate parties in Knightsville and Harmony, if they had information about the female or her whereabouts.

While following up on leads, parents of two other female juveniles reported their daughters missing to the officers.

Around 2 a.m., one of the missing female's parents informed authorities their daughter had just called them.

"The parent reported their daughter said she had been abducted and was with two other girls in a basement, but didn't know where they were," Archer said. "The parent said their daughter told them someone was coming and hung up."

Using the number provided by the parent, Archer said the phone company was unable to trace the cell phone allegedly used by the daughter.

As the investigation continued, officers questioned a person who was able to contact one of the missing females on a cell phone. The girl allegedly told the person she was with the other two, but they were "afraid to get in trouble." When the officer attempted to talk with the female, she hung up.

The phone company was unable to trace the location of the second cell phone, but could provide officials with the owner's identification and their Brazil address.

When Police Chief Dave Archer and officials arrived at the undisclosed address, no one inside the residence would answer the door. While questioning neighbors, several confirmed seeing three girls matching the descriptions of the missing girls earlier in the evening at the residence.

When they returned to the home around 4:30 a.m., Friday, one of the officers happened to look through an open window and see three people apparently hiding under a sheet in a bed.

This time, when officers knocked at the door, one of the missing females answered the door. Once the girls were outside, officers heard someone moving around in the attic area.

The person initially refused to come out, however, Bartholomew J. Gurcheik III, 19, Brazil, was later taken into custody without incident and transported to the Clay County Justice Center.

The missing females (one 14-year-old and two 15-year-olds) were reunited with their families before being questioned by officers. While all three girls admitted to drinking at a party held at the home, two girls admitted to participating in sexual activity, of which one admitted to having sex with Gurcheik.

Gurcheik was booked on preliminary charges of two D and one C felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement and contributing with the delinquency of a minor. A copy of this case had been turned over to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office for review.

Jail officials confirm Gurcheik remains incarcerated awaiting formal arraignment per the court calendar.

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So, the girls lied to their parents, ran away from home, drank, had sex consensual, lied to police (no basement in residence),had their parents worried to death and both police forces busy...so they could have fun?? Now the guys are in jail, and nothing happens to them? Did they do a alcohol breathalyzer test on them for underage drinking? At least out past curfew? Did the other two teens parents report their child missing? One is an ex girlfriend, so the parent knew how old the boy was. I know in most cases, there are victims, and many will say the boys should have known better and I will agree. BUT, nothing happens to the girls?? They were worried they would get in trouble and guess what, they didn't, at least by the law, hopefully the parents did something to set them straight, so they don't pull this type of stunt again.

-- Posted by claycountrygirl on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 3:47 AM

What a waste of law enforcement time, I realize they had to spend all that time searching as if it were a real abduction, but since it was a big lie, parents hope you have a grip on these girls from here on, because if you don't handle this, we'll all be reading about them again and maybe the ending will not be as favorable as this one turned out to be, if you can call sex, lying, hiding, and claiming to be abducted favorable, back in the day, the girls Dads would have been feared, or respected enough to keep everyone on the straight and narrow, Parents these days have lost their edge.

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 5:31 AM

Sounds like a few need a trip to the woodshed. But, I have to question the remark by Mr. Kane. Is it parents that have "lost their edge" or is it society as a whole?

I can imagine what my Dad would have reacted if we were involved in something like this. Attitude adjustment would be in order.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 8:37 AM

After re reading my comment, I may have sounded like I was sort of blamed the parents, its true all of society has lost their edge, there is no respect for law enforcement, partly because of their portrayal in movies and partly because no one is respectful of others, drive down 59 and see if you make a left turn and hold up some one for ten seconds how they react, people think only THEY matter, and don't even consider others as having rights or a job to do, when people look at you its like they are looking past you or through you, even store personel, right before you hand over your hard earned money, its as if you interrupted them in some way. Really its sad and there's not enough time to talk about the filth spewing from teen agers mouths, I'm wondering where it all took such a downturn.

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 4:54 PM


-- Posted by 2dogbob on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 6:45 PM

Massagemiracle: Beating AFTER the fact isn't the cure however and will likely cause more angst on part of the daughter. Most say that if ethics and morals haven't been taught by the time the child is 13 or so, it's too late. Ethics and morality can't be passed from one generation to the next via lecture only. The kids see the examples their elders project.

Mr Kane: the kids today are only following the example of the adults There are fine upstanding kids and there are filthy mouthed deviant adults in the world too. Unfortunately society runs the gamut.

Then we have kids who "experiment" to see how far they can push the envelope of society's norms. Many of these have not been held accountable for lessor infractions when younger or are told things like don't smoke or drink by parents as they guzzle and inhale. Or are told they need to act like Christians when they don't see the commitment of their parents to do the same. [this works the same in any religion as well].

Repeatedly "excusing" the child for minor infractions and not providing consequences by saying that they're young and they will grow out of it does not teach responsibility.

I will agree that many parents don't put forth the effort to truly raise their children and sometimes it's a thankless job while doing so...Some think that they are their child's friend when that is not what a parent is. They are to teach them how to make it in society when they are no longer there to be there for them.

When more parents start to realize this, more kids will be better prepared to make the right choices for themselves and then the "kids of today" will not also be the "adults of today".

while I feel for all in this situation, I see positives. One of the girls at least KNEW that she had not made a good choice by communicating to the outside, even if that choice was clouded by the fact that she lied and tried to shift blame to someone else.

As far as the legal ramifications. The legal system has to draw a line as to what is an "adult" who should bear responsibility for their actions in more serious manner. Unfortunately there are many 40-50 yr olds in the world who still aren't responsible adults but there comes a time when society has to tell people that it's time to take responsibility for your actions even if parents haven't drummed that message home. In this country when a person has the right to vote and pick up a gun to protect his fellow citizen, he is also told to start taking full responsibility for his actions.

This young man by now should have known what the punishment was if he made that choice. Maybe HIS parents didn't prepared him? Who knows but our society had to draw that line somewhere and he is one side of it and the girls in this case are on the other. Hopefully the girls' parents don't feel that THEY need to use this line as well when dealing with them but the legal system has to.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, May 31, 2009, at 8:13 AM

Just to clarify one thing: I don't know about all the girls but at least one is still sitting in jail, not at the justice center, but somewhere for juveniles. She was actually grounded prior to this happening and she left while her dad was at work. So he was at least attempting to get a handle on her, but sometimes no matter how hard you try kids will do stuff the parents don't agree with or codone. You can show your kids the right path but that does not mean he/she will take it in life. There is always more than one side to the story, even one that is printed in the paper. If the whole article had been read by some of the folks posting comments you would realize these girls were juveniles. Not all the details of their punishment can be published. I am not going to disclose any of the additional information I know out of respect for the girl and her parent's. But please know that at least one of these girls will be dealt with by both the system and her parents when she comes home.

-- Posted by dmbfan6277 on Sun, May 31, 2009, at 9:13 AM

I agree with Leo: I was raised around your family, was best friends with your sister Diane. I knew your dad well enough to know that you definitely would have been taken to the wood shed. I would have been too. Parents are afraid to whip their children now days for fear of being turned in for child abuse. There is a fine line between child abuse and correction and I'm in favor of it. I was whipped, my kids were whipped and my grand kids got whipped, none are in trouble with the law and they respect their elders.

-- Posted by karro on Sun, May 31, 2009, at 1:57 PM