Two people have been arrested in Oklahoma in connection with the disappearance earlier this month of a 17-year-old Greenwich girl who was tracked to a small city in southern Oklahoma and found to be with a religious group run by a man who police said is a sex offender, authorities said.
The two were charged in connection with the Dec. 8 disappearance of the girl, who State Police tracked to the city of Lawton, Oklahoma, last Wednesday, eight days after she left a note for a parent at a home in Greenwich indicating she was leaving.
The girl, whose name The Post-Star is withholding because of the circumstances surrounding the case, was found to have been taken to Oklahoma by Charles M. Segaloff, 59, of Lawton, Oklahoma, and kept there along with his girlfriend, Edna N. Grayson, 26, police said.
Both were charged with counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and harboring a minor.
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The FBI is investigating the matter for potential human trafficking charges, according to State Police.
Segaloff also goes by the name Mike Makai, and is founder of House Makai, a religious organization whose website indicates it focuses on sex-themed topics.
The charges were filed after State Police and Lawton Police determined that Segaloff had been communicating with the girl through social media for about a year, and that he drove to Greenwich and took her to Oklahoma. There are no allegations she was taken against her will.
Segaloff has a criminal record that includes a 2001 conviction for assault with intent to commit a felony in Washington state, online records show. That conviction required Segaloff to register as a sex offender for period of time.
The Greenwich girl remained in state custody in Oklahoma as of Tuesday as a witness pending court action and further investigation of Segaloff’s activities, police said.
State Police Senior Investigator Robert Stampfli praised the efforts of Greenwich-based State Police Investigator Todd McPhail in determining where the girl had gone and how she got there.
“He did a lot of legwork on this,” Stampfli said of McPhail.
State Police would not disclose how they determined where the girl was. A call to the Lawton Police detective handling the case was not returned Tuesday.
Segaloff was being held in Commanche County Detention Center in Oklahoma pending further court action. Grayson is free pending prosecution.
No one responded to an online inquiry to House Makai for comment on the matter Tuesday.
Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.