A missing 14-year-old girl was found in a Texas park a day after she ran away from home, authorities say.
The teen, who had left her home in Evans, Louisiana, the night of Monday, Oct. 3, was spotted in a park in Aransas Pass on Tuesday, Oct. 4, according to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Aransass Pass Police Department says officers located the girl lying under a park bench.
Just days before, on Thursday, Sept. 29, the girl had disappeared with a 26-year-old man, according to deputies. She was located that day and was sent home. The man had agreed to questioning but never showed up.
After the teen went missing again on Monday, deputies say they received a tip that the same 26-year-old had tried to use a cash app card, which was stolen, at a gas station in Aransas Pass. Vernon Parish officers contacted the Aransas Pass Police Department and officers began canvassing the area.
Aransas Pass is on the Texas Gulf Coast, about 390 miles southwest of Vernon Parish.
At the same time deputies contacted the police department, Aransas Pass police received a tip that a bystander had seen “a male in his 20s and a very young female at the little league park who appeared suspicious,” according to a news release from the department. The bystander described the girl as “out of it” and said the man had a large cut on his leg.
Police found the girl at the park, but by the time they arrived the man was gone, the release says. While investigating, officers noticed a man riding a motorcycle, and after conducting a traffic stop, they confirmed the man as their suspect.
The suspected kidnapper, who at the time of his arrest had multiple warrants from Vernon Parish, is charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and one count of second-degree kidnapping, deputies say. Additional charges are expected. He is being held in Texas until he can be extradited to Louisiana.
Law enforcement is making plans to bring the girl back home to Louisiana, deputies say.
Aransas Pass is about 160 miles southeast of San Antonio. Vernon Parish is about 230 miles northwest of New Orleans.