Missing girls found
Two San Antonio area girls who had been missing for more than 24 hours in Port Aransas were found today, Wednesday, March 17, apparently unharmed, police said.
Friends Taylor Newman, 11, and Nicole Colla, 12, had been missing since they last were seen walking on the beach at 8 a.m. Tuesday, police said.
Police early-on said they suspected the two were runaways, but no one could be certain as long as they remained missing.
The circumstances of the girls’ disappearance apparently became more clear to police after the pair was found. A news release issued this afternoon by the Port Aransas Police Department referred to the children as “runaways.”
The search ended “when both girls returned to their condominium at the Island Retreat Condominiums in Port Aransas,” the news release said.
“Both will be referred to the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center in Corpus Christi,” the release said. “No further information will be released at this time.”
Taylor’s mother reported the girls missing shortly after noon Tuesday, said PAPD Chief Scott Burroughs.
Port Aransas police distributed fliers with the girls’ photos at island businesses.
Police also were working with cell phone companies to locate the girls by keying in on where calls possibly were being made from a cell phone the pair was carrying.
In addition, officers entered the girls into a state and national database full of missing persons.
Even though police believed that the girls were runaways, not victims of foul play, Burroughs said his department made strong efforts to locate the children because it’s Spring Break, a time when there’s a lot of traffic and alcohol consumption in town – unsafe conditions for girls that age to be roaming around on their own for long.