Missing juvenile located, arrests made
Monday May 13, 2019 at 1506 hours:
Officers from the Readington Township Police Department were summoned to a residence on Flemington-Whitehouse Road after receiving information that a runaway juvenile may be located there. The juvenile had been missing since October 2018 from the state of Virginia. Officers spoke with the homeowners of the property in question, Darren and Tracy Pieper. During the course of the investigation, officers located evidence indicating that the missing juvenile was potentially staying there in a makeshift apartment. Officers continued their search until the missing juvenile was located hiding inside a van parked at the rear of the Pieper's property. After locating the juvenile, it was determined that Darren and Tracy were providing false information and obstructing the officers' attempts to locate that juvenile. Darren Pieper was placed under arrest and charged with 3rd degree custodial interference, 3rd degree endangering the welfare of a child, 4th degree obstructing the administration of law, 4th degree hindering (his own) apprehension, and providing alcohol to minors (disorderly persons offense). Tracy Pieper was arrested and charged with 4th degree obstruction the administration of law, and hindering (her own) apprehension (disorderly persons offense).
Darren Pieper was lodged in the Somerset County Jail to await his first appearance. Tracy Pieper was released on a summons complaint.
Care of the juvenile was turned over to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency until they could be reunited with family.
The Hunterdon County Prosecutors Office, Henrico County (VA) Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations assisted on this case.
The filing of criminal charges is merely a step in the process. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.