A 13-year-old South Texas girl who disappeared last week, prompting a statewide amber alert, has been found 350 miles away from home.
The teen’s family endured six days of horror not knowing of her whereabouts.
“I didn’t know what to do… I started panicking… I couldn’t believe it. We would’ve never thought he would do something like that,” one of her relatives whose identity has been concealed to protect the minor in the case said.
The Elsa, Texas teen went missing Wednesday night after she was allegedly coerced by 41-year-old Rudolfo Nuncio through social media.
“He saw her vulnerable… he started making her believe that nobody loved her and that nobody was ever going to love her, only him,” the teen’s relative said.
An Amber Alert prompted local, state, and federal law enforcement across 4 states to search for Nuncio before the teen could get hurt.
That led U.S. Marshals to a gas station in Montgomery County near Houston, where Nuncio was cornered.
Nuncio then reportedly rammed his car into their vehicles before leading area police on a chase that spanned 3 counties until he crashed into a DPS unit and came to a stop.
All the while the teen was riding in the passenger seat.
Nuncio nor the girl suffered any injuries.
“The Hidalgo county sheriff’s office will pursue charges which include: enticing a child, which is a third-degree felony, unlawful restraint, and harboring a runaway,” said Hidalgo County’s Sheriff Eddie Guerra.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department which led the investigation from the victim’s home town said nuncio had violated his parole for possession of a controlled substance and would be facing other charges from Montgomery County including aggravated assault on a public servant.
“It’s good news for us that she’s home, she’s safe,” the teens family member said as she fought back tears. “I’m, in a way, heartbroken for my mother… she’s taking it real hard.”
Despite the rescue, the family continues to suffer from the traumatic experience. They hope they can one day move forward and keep this from ever happening again.
“I want to hug her and tell her that we love her so much. That it’s not her fault… at all,” she said.
The U.S. Marshals will be transporting the victim back home Tuesday night. As for the suspect, he will first be arraigned in Montgomery County Wednesday before facing charges in Hidalgo County. Nuncio could also face charges at the federal level.