Update – June 5, 12:55 p.m.: Authorities have announced that they found Aysha Cross, 14, and Emiliee Solomon, also 14.
James Robert Van Houten, 30, was charged with harboring a minor.
Van Houten is expected in court this morning. Georgetown Police helped the McLennon County Sheriff’s Office’s Human Trafficking Unit with the arrest late Monday night. 2/2
— Nicole Osei (@NicOseiNews) July 5, 2022
Our original article is below.
Texas officials are looking for two teenage girls, saying one of their Snapchat accounts displayed a “help” message. Authorities identified the children as Aysha Cross, 14, and Emiliee Solomon, also 14, in an AMBER Alert issued Monday, July 4.
Solomon and Cross were last seen Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. at 1410 W. 7th Street and the 900 block of W. 10th Street in McGregor, Texas, says the Texas Department of Public Safety. McGregor is a city west of Waco in the central part of the state.
Solomon is described as being white, with brown hair and brown eyes. She weighs 175 pounds and stands 5 feet 1 inch tall.
Cross is described as being white with black hair and hazel eyes. She weighs 105 pounds and stands 5 feet and 2 inches tall.
The Texas Department of Public Safety did not provide information on what the girls were last wearing, simply saying “Unknown Clothing.”
McGregor police Lt. Ron McCurry said Saturday that the girls’ disappearances did not — at that time — meet the criteria for AMBER Alerts, according to KWTX. He noted, however, that this case was troubling because in similar situations, the young people involved tended to return home safe within eight to 12 hours.
But authorities said on Monday that the AMBER Alert kicked in when they received a screenshot from Cross’ Snapchat story with the message “help.”
PLEASE SHARE: McGregor authorities are searching for Emilee Solomon,14, and Aysha Cross, 14, who have been missing since Tuesday
— KWTX News 10 (@kwtx) July 2, 2022
Cops said they do not have much information, but they are getting help from the FBI.
“We are following all leads and doing everything we can to find these young girls,” McCurry said.
Solomon’s stepmother Sara Dunn said the girls were best friends, with Solomon staying the night Wednesday at Cross’ home. She called later to ask to stay longer, the stepmother said. She later called to say an uncle was picking her up but that did not happen, Dunn said. Dunn said Solomon was dropped off at Bewley Park in McGregor at around midnight Thursday, and might have been picked up by someone. They do not know if the girls remain together.
Dunn and Cross’ mother, Shannon Valles, are working together to find the girls. They and McCurry emphasized that the children are not in trouble with the authorities or at their homes.
“I want her to know that everything is OK,” Dunn said. “It doesn’t matter what she has done. I want to tell her to just come home. We love you no matter what. Our door is open. Come home.”
The DPS flyer is below:
[Images via Texas Department of Public Safety]
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