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Missing N.Y. teen found in Hagerstown

April 18, 2006

A missing 15-year-old girl was found in Hagerstown with her alleged boyfriend, who is 39 years older than she and was once a pastor at her church, Maryland State Police said.

Lewis J. Lee, 54, of the 200 block of Adams Road in Port Deposit, Md., was being held Monday on a federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant and a New York warrant for custodial interference in the first-degree, police said.

The teenager he was accused of having a relationship with is from Sherburne, N.Y. Police said she had been missing since March 18 when she allegedly left her house with Lee.

New York police received a tip Saturday that Lee was in the Port Deposit area and contacted Sgt. Ron Riggin with the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit. Riggin issued lookouts to law enforcement in the region and began a local investigation.

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The investigation led police to an office supply business in the 600 block of Frederick Street in Hagerstown, where officers believed Lee had started a job about two weeks ago. Lee's 2006 GMC Sierra truck was found at the store.

When Lee arrived at the business about 6 p.m. Monday, the teenager was with him, according to police. Both were taken into custody without incident by Maryland State Police, Washington County Sheriff's deputies and the FBI.

Police believed the two had been staying in motels in Maryland and West Virginia for two weeks. Before that, police believe, the two had been driving around the country.

New York police were en route to Maryland to pick up the teenager, and will take her back to her parents, police said.

Lee is originally from Maryland, though he lived in Chenango County, N.Y., until early this year, police said. He had been working there as a pastor at the church the teen attended, police alleged.

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