I-Team investigation leads to charges, discovery of runaways - WSMV Channel 4

I-Team investigation leads to criminal charges, discovery of runaways

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What began as a Channel 4 I-team investigation into a man accused of squatting in a foreclosed house has resulted in an arrest and the discovery of two runaway girls.

Ashley King, 50, of Nashville, was arrested and charged with two counts of harboring a runaway child. Now, Metro sex crimes detectives are also investigating.

King has been the subject of an ongoing Channel 4 I-Team investigation that showed how after the owner of 1909 28th Avenue North died, the home went into foreclosure and King had moved in.

The Channel 4 I-Team documented King living in the foreclosed home and how he was clashing with his neighbors.

On July 24, the Channel 4 I-Team went to the house to try again interview King to ask him about a judge's ruling that proved he didn't own or rent the home.

When we arrived, we found two women who appeared to be teenagers outside the home hanging out clothes.

When one of the teenage girls saw our camera, she said, "I can't be on the news!"

King's voice could be heard from inside the house, telling the other girl to come into the house.

After the I-Team's story aired that night, focusing on the fact that other people appeared to be using the house as well, chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley received a call from Angela Bryant.

Bryant said the teenage girl who stated in our video that she couldn't be on the news was in fact her 15-year-old runaway cousin, Khloe Bryant.

Bryant is Khloe's legal guardian.

"My heart was broken because she doesn't know anything about this guy (Ashley King). I don't know him," Angela Bryant said.

Finley relayed that information to Metro police, who immediately went out to the house but no one would answer the door.

Over the next 24 hours, Metro police scrambled to try to find King and the teenage girls.

Police took out an arrest warrant, citing the Channel 4 I-Team's video and reporting as evidence that King should be charged with harboring a runaway child.

At 6:45 a.m. Thursday, detectives arrived at the foreclosed home with the warrant, but again no one answered.

Officers with the north precinct flex unit them arrived in the afternoon to make another attempt to serve the warrant and were surprised with the other girl captured in our video answered the door.

The girl admitted to police that she was only 17 years old.

"And from their investigation, they found that she was a missing juvenile from Mt. Juliet," said Metro Police Det. Shawn Rohweder.

Rohweder said police were stunned with King then arrived at the house to pick up the girl.

"He ended up showing up at that location to pick that juvenile up, and we took him into custody," Rohweder said.

As King was brought into the criminal justice center, he refused to answer Finley's questions about what he was doing with the girls and why a 50-year-old man would be with young teenage girls.

"It's scary because I'm wondering what he has these teenage girls doing. And why he has them at his house," Bryant said.

King is charged with two counts of harboring a runaway child.

The Channel 4 I-Team is not identifying the 17-year-old because of her age.

King didn't give us or police any details, asking for a lawyer soon after he was arrested. He then bonded out of jail Friday morning.

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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