Missing Andover teen found in Virginia - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Missing Andover teen found in Virginia


A missing teen from Andover, who was wanted for questioning by Connecticut State Police after a recent fire at his home, was located in Virginia.

According to authorities, James Baver, 16, drove away from police and led them on a high-speed chase in Wythe County on Tuesday afternoon.

A Silver Alert was issued for Baver, who was reported missing following a fire at his home and a domestic abuse incident Monday morning.

Baver's mother, who was the only person at home at the time of the fire, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

On Tuesday, a trooper was assigned inside the RHAM High School in case Baver, who is a junior, decided to show up to school.

"I was scared to come to school," said classmate Ben Schatz. "I didn't know if showed up what he'd do."

There was increased security outside of the building as well.

"Police are here in case he comes to school and to make sure everyone is safe," RHAM's Superintendent Dr. Robert Siminski told Eyewitness News Tuesday.

Around 3 p.m., a Wythe County deputy located a motor vehicle with Connecticut license plates in an empty parking lot.

After running the plate, the deputy realized it was Baver's car.

When the deputy ordered the teen out of the car, Baver refused and reportedly drove off.

The deputy even tried to break a window of the car with a baton before a high-speed pursuit started. The chase reached speeds as high as 100 mph, authorities said.

Baver left Wythe County and traveled into Smyth County where the teen's vehicle got stuck in the mud. He ran and got caught in a field. 

"I knew he had problems, never thought it'd come to that," Schatz said.

Baver was charged with attempting to allude police and is being held in New River Valley Juvenile Detention Center.

It is unclear when he will be returned to Connecticut for questioning.

"We'll examine whether acquaintances were there and where exactly he was headed and what his final destination could've been," said police Sgt. Donna Tadiello.

The Silver Alert was canceled for Baver Tuesday night.

"It's sad," said RHAM classmate Adam Casale. "Like I said before, he's a good kid. He didn't really mean to hurt anyone."

Casale said he feels bad for him and wrestled with Baver, who also loves lifting.

State police told Eyewitness News potential charges here will be examined and could be considered.

"I knew he had problems but always a good kid," Casale said.

"State police major crimes will fully investigate any incidents and or behavior by this person leading up to the fire at his residence," Tadiello said.

The fire remains under investigation.

"We believe James was on the property when the fire occurred," Tadiello said. "And we'll be examining whether he's actually involved."

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