Suspect Caught After Child’s Abduction

Police in Texas arrested a man in connection to the disappearance of a 12-year-old Houston-area girl who went missing for eight days in February before she was found, the Associated Press reported.

In a March 1 statement on social media, the Columbia Police Department said Houston resident Sirterryon Preston, 27, had been charged with evading police and was detained at a detention facility in Colorado County.

E’minie Hughes, 12, was reported missing on February 22 after last being seen on a neighbor’s surveillance camera getting into a pickup truck at about 1:40 a.m. local time.

Initially, police believed that the girl may have run away from home but by February 27, Houston Police detectives obtained additional information leading them to suspect that E’minie may have been a trafficking victim and was in danger. This prompted law enforcement to issue an Amber Alert, KPRC in Houston reported.

Her mother told KPRC that E’minie took nothing with her except the clothes she was wearing and an Android tablet.

A week later, Houston Police reported that Hughes may have been using the social media app Tagged and was believed to be in the Missouri City area in Houston.

The following day, Houston Police confirmed that Hughes had been found “unharmed” 73 miles away in Columbus, Texas.

In its statement, the Columbus Police Department said after learning that Hughes was possibly in Columbus, officers attempted to detain Preston who was believed to have “possession” of the missing girl.

Preston attempted to flee and officers captured and arrested him.

Hughes was transported to Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital for evaluation.

Additional federal charges against Preston are expected as the FBI continues its investigation into Hughes’ abduction, the statement said.

According to the Department of Justice, about 460,000 children go missing each year in the United States.