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Missing Mass. teen found in Wallingford; Man charged with sex assault

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WALLINGFORD — A missing Massachusetts girl was found in Connecticut early Wednesday after making a phone call from a Wallingford diner Tuesday night. By late Wednesday morning, Wallingford Police had the 15-year-old girl from Edgartown, Mass. in their custody.

The man she was with, Gregory Mooney, 20, of Mashpee, Mass. was found with her. He was arrested and charged with sex assault in the second degree.

The teen had been missing since Saturday, when she was last seen in Providence, R.I. Her parents had thought at the time she might be heading to Connecticut and asked the public to be on the lookout for her.

Late Tuesday night, she borrowed the phone of a customer at the Colony Diner in Wallingford and made a call to her mother, police said.

The girl told her mother she was hitchhiking her way around the state and she was sleeping in the woods, police said.

Her mother got in contact with police and Wallingford officers were searching for her in the area of the diner. Around 9:30 a.m. an off-duty Meriden Police Detective reported seeing the couple at the Wallingford Wal-Mart.   The officer located the couple in the store.

The couple’s intended destination was New York. They traveled from Massachusetts by walking and hitchhiking. The last ride they were given was by a person who was traveling to Cheshire. That driver told them they were being dropped off in Wallingford because Route 15 and I-91 provide easy access to New York.

The teen was turned over to her parents.

Mooney is also charged with shoplifting. He is being held at the Wallingford Police Department on a $50,000 bond. He’s due in court in Meriden on June 8.