Missing teen found; schools reopen

By Giuseppe Ricapito, The Union Democrat

Contact the Sheriff’s Office at 533-5815 if you have any information about Timothy Kearn's whereabouts.

The student at the center of a social-media inspired investigation was found Tuesday night.

A Facebook message from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office posted at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday said only that Timothy Kearn was found and would be reunited with his family. It did not say where, when or what the circumstances were.

Curtis Creek Elementary School and Gold Rush Charter School did not have classes on Tuesday as “a precautionary measure” following a report Monday evening of a juvenile missing from the Crystal Falls area.

Sgt. Deborah Moss there was no credible threat to either school, yet the school administrators elected to close.

Some Facebook posts by parents indicated that the youth had a weapon, which Moss denied.

Moss said Kearn had no access to weapons in his home and had not been seen with a gun.

Both schools were open school Wednesday.

The situation was prompted by unsubstantiated social media postings which created a “panic,” Moss said.

In an evening update to their original news release, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office noted they had tracked the social media posting to its “original source,” and confirmed no credible threat had been made to the school.

About 450 students attend Curtis Creek Elementary, and 202 students attend Gold Rush Charter School.

Curtis Creek Elementary made the decision to close for the school day at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, Superintendent Sharon Johnson said.

In an email message that was also posted to the Curtis Creek Elementary website, school administrators noted that an “unforeseen safety concern” prompted the school closure.

Moss said the decision to close the school was made by school administration and not by the Sheriff’s Office, but she said later in the day her office supported the decision.

Gold Rush Charter’s Hamilton said the decision was made to close after the school was contacted by staff from Curtis Creek Elementary School.

Kearn, 14, was reported missing Monday evening by his aunt, who he lives with in the Crystal Falls area. He is originally from the Clovis area, a Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office news release said.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.

The Union Democrat
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