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Man charged with aiding runaway
Missing teen hid out at Forsyth home
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Forsyth County News

A Forsyth County man faces several charges after he reportedly housed a teenage runaway from neighboring Cherokee County for nearly two weeks.

William David Gowdy, 31, has been charged with interference with custody and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's Lt. Jay Baker said Gowdy, who was arrested at home Tuesday following an anonymous phone tip, is being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center.

The 16-year-old ran away from her Canton foster home on June 18 with her biological sister and another child who also lived there, Baker said.

The three were last seen at nearby Homer's gas station in the Free Home community.

“She went one direction and the other two went another direction,” Baker said.

The other two were found later, he said, adding there are no concerns with the foster family.

“By all accounts, they are a good family,” Baker said, adding it’s not the first time the girl has run away.

He said Gowdy picked the girl "up at the gas station where she was last seen and drove her to his house.”

The girl went willingly and was not being held at the home against her will, Baker said. However, Gowdy was aware that she was a runaway and “chose not to contact law enforcement.” 

Following the phone tip, Cherokee deputies went to the home, Baker said. While waiting for Forsyth County Sheriff's deputies to arrive, they saw

Gowdy get into his vehicle and start to leave.

Baker said Cherokee deputies decided to make a move, blocking the vehicle, where the teen was found hiding in the back seat.

The teen, who was charged with runaway and unruly child, is being held at the Paulding County Youth Detention Center.