Boyfriend: Cops 'making me look like a horrible person'

Cary Ashby • Jun 25, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Abbi Obermiller's boyfriend said he has nothing to hide. He blames her parents for the 17-year-old North Fairfield girl's disappearance.

Her family members, however, contend the boyfriend is making unfounded accusations and say he is involved in her leaving home.

There have been a lot of tips about Abbi Obermiller's disappearance, but nothing solid. It's been two weeks since she was last seen.

"We will do everything we can to get her back here," Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton said.

Fulton, who has pages and pages of records in the case to scour, took multiple calls Monday night. Various tipsters placed Obermiller, who has been missing since June 7, in Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia.

"We haven't been able to confirm anything about her whereabouts or where she's going," Fulton said.

When asked why her daughter might travel to those states, Rose Obermiller said she has "no idea whatsoever."

Abbi Obermiller, who will be a senior at South Central High School this fall, lives at 104 E. Main St., North Fairfield. She was reported missing just before 6 a.m. June 7. The teen was visiting her grandparents' house at 73 N. Prospect St. in Norwalk, where she was last seen about five hours earlier.

On Sunday night, there was prayer vigil for the girl at South Central. Rose Obermiller said she appreciates the outpouring of support from her daughter's friends.

The girl's boyfriend, Robert J. Young, 20, of 408 S. Exchange Road, New London, remains a "person of interest" in the case.

He pleaded "not guilty" to obstructing official business Monday in Norwalk Municipal Court. Police said there are cell phone records indicating there have been "multiple cell phone conversations" between the girl and Young. Chief Dave Light has said he's "convinced the boyfriend knows more about her whereabouts than what he is telling us."

"A lot of stuff they have been telling you is they did come out here with a search warrant, but they were invited in here voluntarily three or four times," Young told the Reflector on Monday morning.

Officers used a search warrant Thursday at Young's home, but didn't find the girl and didn't seize any evidence.

"They said Abbi had called me about an hour before she was reported missing and that is false. They are reporting we were going to go to West Virginia to get married. That is false," Young said.

Young accused Abbi's parents of abusing her and her four sisters.

"She left her parents' house to stay with her grandparents because she was abused at home," Young said. "She was currently not living at home because she has been abused. They also didn't tell you all of her other sisters ran away from home."

Amber Enderby, Abbi's sister, said she couldn't speak for her sisters, but she only went to her grandparents' house once after an argument with her parents years ago.

"It was a time to work out things with our parents," Enderby said. "What's going on with Abbi is so much larger."

Her theory is that her sister was having a disagreement with her parents over dating Young and that's why she went to her grandparents' house.

"I think Bobby is involved in her leaving," Enderby said.

As for Young's allegations, Rose Obermiller said her daughters didn't "really run away" and simply needed a "cooling off period."

"They needed a time-out and I needed a time-out," she said.

"They didn't run far," said Obermiller about her daughters going to a relative's house.

"We've found nothing to indicate abuse by her parents," Fulton said.

Young said he believes Abbi is OK.

"The cops are telling me I might have done something to her. If they are going to talk to anybody, they should talk to her abusive parents," Young continued.

Abbi's father, James Obermiller, said Young has a history of making unfounded accusations against his family.

James Obermiller, 58, and his wife, 54, were charged with menacing by stalking in connection their alleged conduct toward one of Young's relatives on June 7 -- the same day Abbi was reported missing.

Rose Obermiller, who was convicted of the charge after pleading "no contest," talked about the incident in which she went to the home of Jessica Harper, Young's sister, twice in less than four or five hours.

"I was at (Young's) sister's house. I was a little bit belligerent," she said.

She said she first went to Harper's house early that morning because she wanted to know "if Abbi was safe" and came back.

"She said she didn't know anything about anything," Obermiller said.

As for James Obermiller, he will be arraigned July 6 in Norwalk Municipal Court, six days before his wife's sentencing date. The family said he was at work in Texas during the incident.

Young said the police investigation is "making me look like a horrible person."

"I have been letting the cops in voluntarily every (time)," he said. "She is not with me.

"I'm caught in the middle. The way they are portraying it is I am trying to hide it from them. I talked to her about 12:30 the night before. I talk to her every night. I got the call the next morning that she was gone," Young said.

Based on a tip in the case, Norwalk police and the Huron County Sheriff's Office, with a canine unit, searched residences on Fairfield Angling and Exchange roads Sunday.

"Nothing was found there," Fulton said.

The investigator encourages anybody with information about Abbi Obermiller to call the Norwalk Police Department at (419) 663-6780 or (419) 668-3311. Tipsters can also call the Huron County Sheriff's Office at (419) 663-2828.

"If anybody has any information, by all means, please call," Fulton said.

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