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Missing Teenage Girl Found in Illinois Teacher's Closet

A missing 17-year-old girl was found hiding in a closet at a male teacher's home near Chicago after he told police he didn't know where she was — prompting officers to arrest him on a charge he lied to them.

Eric Wood, 24, who teaches at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Waukegan, Ill., was charged only with obstructing justice in the bizarre case surrounding the disappearance of the girl.

The teen's family filed a missing-person report on Nov. 8.

The following day, Lake County Sheriff's deputies found the girl at Wood's Beach Park house after Wood allowed them in to search for her. He initially told authorities that he knew nothing about the girl's whereabouts.

The girl's brother said she and Wood have been in regular contact since they met at a Milwaukee car show in July, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The teen is a student at Zion-Benton High School, and her brother said he called police last month in an effort to stop her get-togethers with Wood.

Wood was "dropping off his 17-year-old sister at home after hours," the police report said.

The high school student and Wood told police and their families that they were just friends, according to the paper.

"We were told by the police that if nothing sexual was going on between them that there was nothing they could do," the teenager's brother told the Sun-Times on Thursday. "We are holding the police responsible if something happens to her."

Cops in Zion, Ill., said they didn't find any indication that a crime had been committed when the girl's brother first notified them.

"Our officer contacted (Wood) and told him to stop seeing the girl," Zion Police Chief Larry Booth told the newspaper.

Waukegan School District officials declined to comment about Wood's relationship with the teen and his arrest.

Wood is expected to appear in Lake County Circuit Court on Dec. 9.

Click here for more on this story from the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.