Amber Alert cancelled for 14-year-old Texas girl Willow Sirmans after she's found safe in Louisville
Earlier Texas authorities issued an AMBER Alert for the 14-year-old girl who they believed was in grave or immediate danger
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TEXAS: Authorities canceled the Amber Alert for 14-year-old Willow Sirmans after she was found safe on Thursday night in Louisville, Kentucky following a combined effort by more than ten local and federal agencies.
Earlier Texas authorities issued an AMBER Alert for the 14-year-old girl who they believed was in grave or immediate danger. Sirmans' disappearance first came to light after deputies from the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a residence outside of the city of Grand Saline about a runaway, according to a press release. On reaching the scene, they were informed that Willow had possibly left the residence with a friend(s) and had traveled to the Chandler/Brownsboro area. While an AMBER Alert was not issued, Van Zandt deputies reportedly completed a Missing Persons/Runaway Report and listed the teen as a runaway in the TCIC/NCIC.
The sheriff's office said at the time that they had enlisted assistance from the Henderson County Sheriff’s to check on residences in Henderson County to locate Willow but to little avail. On the evening of May 12, they obtained information related to the individuals that she left her residence with and investigated all previous contact locations for the suspects with no results. They also said they enlisted assistance from the Grand Saline Police Department, Van Zandt County Constable Pct. 1, Smith County Constables Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as the National Institute for Missing and Exploited Children so Federal assistance could be obtained from US Law Enforcement Agencies.
When no further progress was made in the search for the 14-year-old girl, authorities issued an AMBER Alert and identified 21-year-old Austen Walker as a person of interest in her disappearance. He was described as a White Male, 5’ 09” tall, 140 pounds with Brown Hair and Green Eyes. He has a Tattoo on both arms and a scar on the right arm. Authorities said he was believed to be driving a White 2012 Toyota Camry, displaying Texas License Plate LGH 9294. They said a second person of interest, Courtney Odum, the owner of the vehicle, was also with him and Willow. Willow has been described as being 3'0'' tall and weighing 75 pounds. She has strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, and braces. Anyone with information regarding either the teen's or Walker's whereabouts has been advised to contact the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s at 903-567-4133 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.
The VCSO has said it is prepared to file appropriate charges on anyone else assisting or harboring this child as well, under Texas penal Code 25.06 (Harboring a Runaway Child).