Smithville Man Charged with Harboring Putnam County Runaway

October 14, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

A Smithville man is in trouble with the law in two counties for allegedly hiding or harboring a 17-year-old runaway girl from Putnam County.

19-year-old Devon W. Yokeum of 274 Bluebird Trail, Smithville is under a $4,500 bond on the local charge.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday, October 8, a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department deputy went to Yokeum’s residence at 274 Blue Bird Trail, Smithville to look for a runaway juvenile. After knocking on the door and getting no answer, the deputy pinged Yokeum’s phone which was in the area of the home. The runaway juvenile’s phone had last pinged in the area of the same house the night before (October 7). The Assistant District Attorney Genreral was contacted and advised that the deputies had circumstances to make entry. The DeKalb County deputy, Chief Deputy and an officer of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department made entry. Yokeum came down the stairs and he was placed under arrest. The Chief Deputy and the Putnam County officer went upstairs and found the juvenile hiding inside a mattress.

According to the arrest warrant, Yokeum had knowledge that the 17-year-old girl was a runaway and he refused to come to the door of his residence at 274 Blue Bird Trail, Smithville. After making entry into the home, officers found Yokeum and the 17-year-old who was in an upstairs bedroom hiding inside a mattress.

Yokeum is reportedly facing charges in Putnam County from the same incident in which he is alleged to have kidnapped the girl.

A report in the Herald-Citizen of Cookeville quotes arrest warrants stating that “the victim went to a movie with Yokeum”.

“[The victim] asked to be taken to her own vehicle to enable her to return home,” the warrant said. “[Yokeum] refused to do as requested and instead took the victim to his residence in DeKalb County.”

The warrants indicate that statements made by both the victim and Yokeum revealed that the victim had been held against her will. He had “hollowed out the bottom side of a mattress and [hid] her there until local law enforcement arrived looking for the victim.”

“Warrants do not reveal how long the victim was allegedly held against her will,” the report stated.