|December 13, 2001
York investigator solves case of missing child
Private investigator Scott Bernstein pursues a lead on the phone at
Jenifer Yarrow's home in Carson City on Tuesday afternoon. Bernstein's investigation lead
to the return of Yarrow's 15-year-old daughter Erin Marshall who had been missing for
three weeks. It was discovered she had run away from home.
A Carson City mother was relieved Wednesday night and a New York
private investigator had another success under his belt after finding a teenager who had
been missing for three weeks.
"I wanted to come home," 15-year-old Erin Marshall said Wednesday from the
living room of her mother's Saliman Street home. "I knew my mom was very worried, but
I thought it was too late and I was going to get arrested."
It wasn't too late, however. By the third day, her mom, Jenifer Yarrow, was frantic.
"I thought she would have her couple of days and come home," she said of Erin's
Nov. 20 disappearance.
By week three, Yarrow had had enough worrying and grew frustrated that the Carson City
Sheriff's Department wasn't doing anything to find her daughter.
But Chief Deputy Scott Burau said his department was working the case and had been to the
home where Erin was ultimately found on a number of occasions.
"We made every reasonable attempt to locate this child," he said.
"Investigators went to that home multiple times and were allowed to search and we
came up with nothing. The juvenile wasn't there. But we had our suspicions."
He said the success of the hired detective can be attributed to the fact that he is not a
"He plays by a different set of rules. If we find out someone is harboring or
concealing an individual, we will arrest them."
Yarrow turned to the Internet, where she came upon USAHUNT.com and contacted private
investigator Scott Bernstein.
Bernstein, who said he has recovered more than 500 missing or abducted teens in his 16
years as a private investigator, said he discussed the case with Yarrow, got the names of
Erin's friends and accepted a retainer to work on the case.
From his New York office he ran background checks on the various names Yarrow had given
Tuesday at 2 a.m. he arrived in Reno, checked into his hotel, took a quick nap and by 9
a.m. was pounding the pavement looking for clues to Erin's whereabouts. He ended up at the
Carson City home of the boy Erin and her mother had a disagreement about before Erin
"I was dead set against her seeing him, and she was dead set for seeing him"
Bernstein said he knew immediately the 17-year-old boy wasn't telling the truth when he
said he didn't know where Erin was.
"I have a built-in lie detector," Bernstein said. "I knew he was
It took several visits to the boy's house throughout the day to finally convince him,
"If you cooperate with me and help me find Erin, I'll do my best to help you with the
By 6 p.m. Yarrow was meeting in a neutral place with Erin, and Bernstein was acting as a
While she was gone, Erin said, she had lots of options and at one point was in Sacramento,
where she stayed a day before coming back to Carson City.
"I smelled trouble and got out of there," she said.
When she met with her mother, Erin brought along another girlfriend, Kaitlyn, with whom
she'd run away. Erin agreed to come home in the morning.
Wednesday morning, deputies following up on their own investigation found Erin and Kaitlyn
at the home where authorities suspected she was all along. Kaitlyn was taken to Carson
City Juvenile Detention, where she is in custody.
The homeowner was cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. His
son -- the boy over whom Erin and her mother had fought earlier -- was taken to Juvenile
Detention, where he was charged with obstructing justice for lying to police.
Bernstein said his work in Carson City is almost done. In less than 24 hours he found two
missing teenagers. Neither he nor the family would say how much the investigation cost.
He has agreed to stay in Carson City to help Kaitlyn find placement in a foster family. He
has also talked with Kaitlyn's grandmother and told her he would try to help get her on
the Maury Povich show so Kaitlyn can get into a boot-camp program.
Bernstein has worked on many investigations and has been featured on talk shows. He said
he dropped three cases to come to Carson and help Yarrow.
"By the time I heard about this, we were already on Week Three. The faster I bring
them back, the better," he said.
Erin was placed on probation while she was still a runaway, so she will now meet with a
juvenile probation officer and she and her mother will attend counseling together.
Bernstein took Erin to see her old boss and she was rehired by him Wednesday afternoon.
Later that day, Erin and her brother Todd were waiting for Yarrow to return home from
work. The three planned to finally decorate the Christmas tree Yarrow refused to put up
while her daughter was gone.
She knows the road ahead won't be easy.
"The trust issue will be the hardest part to overcome."
But Yarrow holds out hope that all will be well.
"I am just so happy she's home."
For more information visit www.usahunt.com,
Falcon Investigations Inc. at 1-845-362-3433 or 1-888-USAHUNT