Campground owner speaks out about suspects accused of tying teen to tree

Posted at 9:03 PM, May 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-23 21:03:18-04

For the past few years, Hank Monteiro has worked to clean up the Big Bear Family Campground in Windsor.

“We're trying to turn it around and have a good reputation here.  It seems like every time you try to do some good, some bad jumps up and gets in your way,” said Monteiro.

The sheriff's office says that about a month ago, they arrested four people who were staying at the campground: Loretta and Randall Miller, Margaret Allen and Ross Renicker.

They’re accused of tying a 15-year-old girl to a tree with straps and throwing eggs and beer at her. The Millers are the girl's legal guardians.

Monteiro says they've stayed at the site on and off for a few years.

“They've been here and Arizona, Florida, they've been all different places.  They would pop in every so often and stay for a few months working jobs,” said Monteiro.

The Millers also have two teenage sons. Monteiro says he took them in for three weeks when the Millers were arrested until they could stay with family out of state.  He says he and his wife try to help everyone who stays there.

“We take care of their babies and when people don't have food or they can't pay their rent, we're working with people all the time,” said Monteiro.

He's not sure what to make of the allegations.  He says the boys told him it was all in fun.  That's also what the two women who were arrested said, according to a criminal complaint.

A few weeks ago, the Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office conducted a search at two of the lots on the campground, but the contents of that search warrant are sealed.

Although they can't say what was collected during the search, a spokesman for the sheriff's office did say evidence was sent to the state lab and they're waiting for the results.

The sheriff's office says there's no indication at this point that the girl was mistreated in the past.

None of the suspects wanted to comment about the charges, but Loretta Miller's attorney did say that once the case goes to court, things will come to light that will be evidence in her favor.

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