BLANCHESTER —A Blanchester teen reported missing since Saturday was found Wednesday — and his father was arrested.

Two Blanchester police officers spent Wednesday afternoon in Mount Orab after developing information that a missing 14-year-old boy, Donaven Haynes, was in that city. Several individuals there were interviewed with the assistance of the Mount Orab Police Department, and information from those individuals led officers to a farm on Brooks-Malott Road in rural Brown County, according to Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.

“The officers located Donaven hiding on that farm,” Reinbolt said. “The boy stated it was his intention never to return home, so I’m glad we expended the resources to find him before he was able to put more miles between him and Blanchester.”

Reinbolt said that late Wednesday afternoon officers arrested the boy’s father, Steven Haynes, 34, of 126 S. Broadway Street. Officers found Haynes at the Blanchester Public Library, where he was taken into custody, Reinbolt said.

“While seeking the whereabouts of young Donaven, officers developed evidence establishing that Haynes had administered unreasonable corporal punishment to the boy, as well as his 11-year-old sister,” Reinbolt said. “As a result, Steven Haynes has been charged with two counts of domestic violence.”

Reinbolt added that Haynes was also wanted on a misdemeanor warrant from the Hillsboro Police Department, as well as one from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

“Contrary to what some people seem to believe, corporal punishment is not illegal in Ohio,” Reinbolt said. “Ohio law allows parents to use reasonable corporal punishment to discipline their children. In this particular case, the evidence gathered indicates that Haynes struck his son about his torso repeatedly with a belt, and that he choked his daughter about the neck. It is our belief that these acts do not constitute reasonable parental discipline.”

Steven Haynes was taken to the Clinton County Jail. Officers took both children to a local relative’s house.

News Journal