MONTPELIER, Vt – A Texas man was arrested Friday on allegations that he helped destroy evidence implicating the former stepfather of a 12-year-old Vermont girl who was abducted and killed.
Authorities say Brooke Bennett was to be inducted into a child sex ring by her uncle on the day of her disappearance in June. Her body was found in a shallow grave days later, and the uncle has been charged with killing her.
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According to an affidavit obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, Brooke's former stepfather called 58-year-old Kevin D. Grosenheider and asked him to throw away a safe containing evidence that implicated him and someone else in the sexual assault of a minor.
Grosenheider was renting a room to the stepfather, 40-year-old Raymond Gagnon, at the time.
The affidavit said Gagnon apparently called Grosenheider on June 30, the day he was arrested in Vermont on an obstruction of justice charge during the investigation of Brooke's disappearance. The obstruction charge was dismissed, but Gagnon has been indicted in San Antonio on charges of producing and possessing child pornography.
The affidavit said Grosenheider initially lied to investigators about the phone call but later acknowledged it. He also told agents that Gagnon showed him images of child pornography on a cell phone and a home computer.
Grosenheider was charged with misprision of a felony -- not reporting or helping cover up a crime.
He was released on $40,000 bond, and another hearing was set for this month. He doesn't have an attorney yet, federal court clerk Aurora Cisneros told The Associated Press.
Brooke disappeared June 25 and was found dead a week later. Her disappearance triggered Vermont's first Amber Alert.