A woman accused of hiding her son’s runaway girlfriend in her Milaca apartment is now facing criminal charges.
Nancy Jo Kruse, 39, 1010 Second Ave. NW, Milaca, has been charged with depriving custody or parental rights, inrefusing to return a minor, and depriving custody or parental rights, in causing a child to be a runaway, in connection with the November 2012 incident. Both charges are felonies.
On Nov. 8, Dresden Holland, 17, of Sartell, was reported as missing to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department. Family members thought Holland might be with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Tyler Kruse of Milaca.
Milaca Police were asked to check for Holland at the home of Nancy Jo Kruse, but efforts to find the girl were unsuccessful.
A Stearns County deputy made cellular telephone contact with Holland and a “ping” of her cell phone suggested she was in the Milaca area, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mille Lacs County District Court.
The teen said she would not go home, but would meet law enforcement and Sartell School District officials the next day. She failed to show for the meeting on Nov. 9. She also called in sick to work that day, citing a family emergency. She was then entered into law enforcement systems as a runaway, the complaint states.
Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 13, the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department and Milaca Police Department made many visits to the Kruse home, but were never successful in locating Holland. Law enforcement had contact with Nancy Jo Kruse on a number of those visits, the complaint states.
Authorities got a break in the case on Nov. 13. On that day, a male contacted the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and stated he had been at the Kruse residence and had seen Holland on two occasions. He was also at the residence when law enforcement visited. The male said that on both occasions, Holland was sent to an upstairs apartment to hide when officers visited the Kruse apartment, the complaint states.
On Nov. 14, Milaca Police Chief Todd Quaintance visited with Nancy Jo Kruse at her home. She allegedly admitted that Holland was at the residence. Holland was then taken into custody to be returned to her parents. Kruse allegedly was uncooperative in revealing where Holland was from Nov. 8-14, 2012.
Holland gave some insight into the incident about two weeks later in an interview with Quaintance. On Dec. 2, 2012, she told Quaintance that she left her parents’ house on Nov. 8 and was picked up by a friend of Tyler Kruse. Tyler Kruse met the two in Foley, Holland stated. Tyler Kruse then took Holland to the Milaca home of his mother, the complaint states. Nancy Jo Kruse knew the teen was coming, Holland stated. She admitted to hiding in an upstairs apartment until Nov. 14.
Holland allegedly told Quaintance that it was Nancy Jo Kruse who told her not to return phone calls to Stearns County deputies. It was also Kruse who told her not to tell school and law enforcement officials her location, the complaint states. Kruse also told Holland to call social services and make a child maltreatment complaint. Kruse also encouraged Holland to seek emancipation from her parents, the complaint states.
Court records indicate that Kruse agreed to meet with law enforcement officials to make a statement regarding the allegations made against her. She never showed up, records state.
If found guilty of the charges against her, Kruse could face a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or a $4,000 fine.