A Prince William teacher is accused of helping four teenagers escape from a Manassas shelter for troubled juveniles where she has taught since 1996, according to county police and school officials.

Timothea Dzan, 53, of the 2900 block of Marsala Court in Woodbridge, allegedly told the four how to exit through a door that was not armed with an alarm and how to walk to avoid security cameras, said Officer Jonathan Perok, a county police spokesman.

The boy and three girls, who are ages 14 to 17, were found several hours after the Sept. 8 escape, and returned to the Judge Patrick D. Molinari Juvenile Shelter at 8642 Wellington Road. The youths were found at Balls Ford Road and Ashton Avenue, several miles away from the shelter.

Perok said he did not know what prompted the teacher’s reported action.

Reached at her home Wednesday evening, Dzan hung up on a reporter who asked for comment.

Dzan, an English and social studies teacher taught exclusively at the shelter since her hiring by the county school system and was put on paid administrative leave after her arrest Wednesday, said Prince William county school spokesman Ken Blackstone. Dzan faces four counts each of aiding in the escape of a child and of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The non-secure facility houses children between the ages of 10 and 17 who are awaiting a juvenile court appearance for incidents ranging from being a runaway to being accused of a crime. Those who are held after court are housed at another secure detention center, said Michelle Robl, deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William.

(This posting has been updated)