KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man who was convicted in April of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and later went missing was found by authorities in Arizona. After pleading guilty to violating release conditions Thursday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division, he was held for lack of $250,000 bail at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland.
Owen Cornell, 29, of Holiday Drive, was reported missing on June 20 by his mother, who said she had last seen him on June 16 at noon. According to a police affidavit, she told authorities he said he was going to a party, but gave no details on when or where. Cornell had been free pending a sentencing hearing on the condition he check in twice a week at the Vermont State Police barracks in Shaftsbury.
State police said that after Cornell was reported missing, they checked their records and saw he had failed to check in on June 14 as he was supposed to, but had been doing so regularly.
Deputy State's Attorney Christina Rainville said Cornell was found by authorities in Arizona, but would not give details on the circumstances around his being there or how he was placed in custody. Cornell's attorney, Public Defender Lucy McCarthy, also declined to comment.
Court records made available to the public did not contain details either, but did indicate Cornell had no money in his possession when he was located, and that a sentencing hearing for him had been scheduled for Sept. 7.
The incident Cornell was brought to trial and convicted on occurred on May 28, 2010. A then 13-year-old boy accused Cornell of having lewd conduct with him.