San Bernardino County

Swim Coach Accused of Hiding Missing 16-Year-Old in His Room

The teen had been missing for weeks, authorities said.

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After a teen who had been missing for weeks was finally found in the San Bernardino home of her former swim coach, the 31-year-old was arrested, the Apple Valley Police Department said.

John Casillas, 31 years old, was arrested on suspicion of concealment of a child from legal guardian with bail set at $50,000.

The unidentified 16-year-old went missing from her home July 22, and detectives at the Apple Valley Station began searching for her, serving multiple search warrants and gathering evidence. 

Eventually they discovered the teen had been allegedly communicating with Casillas, and served a search warrant at his home in the 1200 block of West 31st Street of San Bernardino on Aug. 5. 

Detectives arrived at the home and encountered Casillas’ 62-year-old father Alfonso. Then they discovered the missing teen in John’s bedroom. 

Alfonso was taken in for questioning. 

John was found at a local country club giving swim lessons. He was detained.

Apple Valley and Crimes Against Children Detectives said John knew the 16-year-old was being sought, but did not call the police to report he was in contact with her. 

He was arrested, but posted bail and was released Aug. 6. 

“John is employed as a swim instructor at several different swimming academies and has contact with many juveniles in the course of his employment,” authorities said in a news release. 

It wasn’t clear if Alfonso would also face charges. Anyone with information is asked to contact detective Gus Garcia at the Apple Valley Station at -760-240-7400. Callers can remain anonymous and contact WeTip at 800-78CRIME or www.wetip.com.

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