HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) – A missing, mentally challenged teenager was rescued and a woman was charged with false imprisonment after she befriended the girl and taunted her mother with text messages giving phony information on the girl’s whereabouts, investigators said.
Mayra Gonzalez, 24, was taken into custody late Wednesday after a cellphone carrier zeroed in on the suspect’s Hesperia home, San Bernardino County sheriff’s Sgt. Lon Jacobs said.
Gonzalez was booked for investigation of felony false imprisonment and released on $50,000 bail.
Gonzalez is suspected of befriending the 18-year-old victim, who has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old, at a liquor store on Wednesday, authorities said. The girl was unharmed.
A voicemail message left at the Gonzalez home on Friday wasn’t immediately returned.
When the teenager didn’t come home Wednesday, her mother contacted authorities, but deputies were unable to find her.
The mother then began receiving text messages from an unknown number giving locations where the teen could be found. Family members went to the locations but didn’t find her.
Investigators began working with T-Mobile to track the cellphone signal to the Gonzalez home, the Victorville Daily Press (
http://bit.ly/ABr2CZ) reported Friday.
After Gonzalez denied knowing anything about the missing teenager, deputies obtained a search warrant. During the search, Gonzalez told the teenager to run out the rear of the house, authorities said.
The teen was found a short distance away and returned to her family.
Investigators said they don’t have a motive for the incident.
Information from: Daily Press,
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