Police arrest Marion County teacher arrested accused of housing runaway student

Francis Marion Military Academy teacher charged with interference with custody

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Duane Ernest Adams

OCALA, Fla. - A Marion County teacher was arrested on Tuesday after police say he housed one of his students who was reported by her parents as a runaway.

Duane Ernest Adams, 54, a teacher at Francis Marion Military Academy in Ocala, has been charged with interference with child custody.

Police said the mother of a 15-year-old student at the military academy reported her daughter as a runaway on Friday afternoon. Her mother had found Adams waiting to take her daughter to take her to school that morning, asked him to leave and drove her daughter to school.

The 15-year-old didn't come home that afternoon and didn't attend school that day, according to police.

As police investigated, on Sunday and Monday they spoke to Adams, who said he didn't know where the student was. The student was found at the Steak n' Shake on Monday in Ocala and police returned her to her parents.

Police said Adams admitted that he lied to police and had taken the child from school and allowed her to stay in his apartment during school. He then took her to Daytona where they stayed in a motel for two nights.

Adams then drove the student to the Ocala RV Campgrounds and rented a cabin for four days. He denied any inappropriate physical contact with the girl.

Adams was booked into Marion County Jail.

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