Family of Boy Allegedly Hidden by Teacher for 2 Years 'Suffered in Agony' While He Was 'Robbed of Childhood'

Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez was missing for two years.Handout

The teen, who was reported missing by his family two years ago, is now 17 and 'inexplicably' returned home after authorities searched for him for months, officials said.

Relatives of a California teen who was allegedly hidden for two years by a school teacher say they were racked with pain fearing the boy they had reported missing might be dead.

The "family was suffering in agony every day wondering what happened to him and whether he was dead or alive," Katte Smith told Inside Edition Digital. Smith and her husband are the boy's aunt and uncle and his legal guardians.

Michael Ramirez was 15 when he ran away from home after a family fight over discipline, his aunt said. His family reported him missing in June 2020, according to authorities.

An extensive search conducted by Rancho Cordova police and Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies failed to find the teen. Fliers went up all over the area. Smith posted them on her Facebook page, along with photos of Ramirez and pleas for his safe return.

She and her husband did interviews with local media. And then, in March, Ramirez "inexplicably" returned home, police said. Now 17, the teen said he wanted to return to the family, and that he had been staying, all this time, with the mother of a childhood girlfriend, authorities said.

On Oct. 20, Holga Castillo Olivares, 61, was arrested by Rancho Cordova Police officers, according to a statement. She was charged with detention of a minor with intent to conceal from a parent and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, police said.

Olivares, who has been placed on leave from the Sacramento City Unified School District, taught at a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school, the district said. Citing personnel issues, district officials declined comment.

Smith said the teacher had been interviewed by investigators searching for her nephew.

Smith's family, she said, wonders "how a public school teacher could do something like this and hide a missing child for over two years. To do so knowing that there was an active police investigation into the child’s disappearance."

The teacher's alleged actions "robbed us of so many things, but more importantly she robbed Michael of nearly two years of education and growth as a human being," Smith said.

"He was robbed of over two years of childhood, which he’ll never get back," his aunt said. She referred all questions to her family's attorney. A request for comment was left by Inside Edition Digital Friday morning.

Olivares has not entered a plea to the charges against her. She was released without bail this week and ordered to have no contact with the teen or his relatives. A request for comment left by Inside Edition Digital with her attorney was not answered.

Smith said her nephew and the family are focused on grieving and working through the healing process and asked for privacy.