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HILLSVILLE — A missing 15-year-old and a 22-year-old male wanted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor had not made a run for the border after all, as police found them still in Galax early Wednesday morning.
Authorities had been searching for Desiree Travers since her family reported she had run away April 19, thinking she might be in the company of Carlos Enrique Reyna, 22, of Galax.
Based on previous statements made by the teen, family members feared that Travers and Reyna may have been heading to Mexico or Florida. Local police got the FBI involved and notified the border patrol for that reason.
In the end, it appears the missing teen had remained in the area.
“At approximately 12:10 a.m. officers from the Hillsville Police Department, the Galax Police Department and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office conducted a joint investigation that resulted in the arrest of Carlos Enrique Reyna 22 of Galax,” according to a news release from Hillsville Police Chief Greg Bolen.
Travers was also found and reunited with her mother by Bolen and James Alderman, the town’s investigator.
Galax Officers Jody Poole and Silverio Gonzales took Reyna into custody on the contributing to the delinquency of a minor warrant, according to Bolen. Reyna may face other charges from the Galax police, Bolen added.
“We received a call from a concerned citizen and the tip was followed up, by
Sgt. Poole and Police Officer Gonzales,” Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said.
The place that the tip lead to was on Kenbrook Drive in the city, according to Clark.
Police were given permission to search the residence by the owner and Reyna was arrested without incident.
“They hadn’t been there for long,” according to Galax Police Capt. James Cox.
Clark said he would consult with the city attorney on possible charges.
The warrant against Reyna was issued by a Carroll County magistrate April 3 on the basis of an incident from the day before, according to information from the courts. That incident involved a 15-year-old.
Immigration officials have been notified of Reyna’s legal status.
“Deportation is a decision made by Immigration Customs Enforcement,” Clark noted. “We merely report the alleged criminal violation to them.”
Reyna will be represented in court by defense attorney Greg Goad, according to court documents.
Bolen gave credit to people from around the world who paid attention to this case via social media.
“I cannot stress how important everyone's help was with this case,” Bolen said. “Once again the public called in with tips, our ‘Facebook Faithful’ did an outstanding job getting the word out to everyone, and the family was real tenacious and helpful with information and tips through this whole process,” the Hillsville chief said.
Bolen was amazed that someone from Vietnam would find out about a missing teen through Facebook and share that information with a relative in Miami — one possible destination for Travers — and that person from Miami put up posters about the search.
“That's the great thing about Facebook — you don't even have to ask and people will share the posters or pictures of the wanted or missing,” he said. “I cannot begin to express my full gratitude to our Facebook Faithful!"
Bolen also appreciated the cooperation from all other law enforcement agencies involved, including the FBI’s field agent from Roanoke. “This was a total team effort with everyone coming together and caring enough about a missing girl to help spread the word, [which] eventually led to her being found,” the chief said.
Personnel from the Carroll Sheriff’s Office that helped secure the house and found Reyna and Travers included deputies Shannon Goad, Chuck Edwards, Rocky Dalton and Sgt. Justin Haga.