William A. Beith, 28, was charged Thursday
with coercing and enticing a minor into sexual acts and transporting
a minor across state lines for sexual purposes in connection with
the disappearance of Gabrielle Grace Marshall.
Special Agent Doug Garrison of the FBI's Indianapolis office said
today that documents related to the warrant were sealed to protect
the privacy of those interviewed and to keep certain information
secret until Beith is captured.
But in explaining why the charges were filed, Garrison said, "We
became aware of a relationship between the two and the charges have
come forth from that."
The sixth-grader from Gary was reported missing Tuesday after she
had a spat with her parents at a Wal-Mart store. An employee told
police that the girl was crying and seen running in the store
parking lot. Her parents believe she may have telephoned Beith.
Steven E. Ibison of the FBI's office in Merrillville said
authorities had received information that Beith was spotted Thursday
in Knoxville, Tenn. Beith used a gasoline credit card in Troy, Ohio,
on Wednesday, the FBI said.
"We believe at that time, the girl was in good heath," Ibison
said. "Our main concern right now is to get her back safely."
Suspicion Over Private Tutor
Daniel Marshall, the girl's older brother, said Beith began
giving private, after-school tutoring lessons to the girl.
Beith was arrested in 1990, while still a teenager, and charged
with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for exposing himself
to a 15-year old girl.
He became principal of Liberty Baptist Academy in 1998 when his
father, William S. Beith, resigned after being arrested for
soliciting a male undercover police officer for oral sex.
Charges against both men were dismissed after they received
counseling under a deferred prosecution program, said Diane Poulton,
a spokeswoman for the Lake County prosecutor.
The school sent a letter to parents this week saying that the
younger Beith no longer is employed at the school.