Oklahoma Man's Phone Call Helps Find Missing Lubbock Children - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/28/08

Oklahoma Man's Phone Call Helps Find Missing Lubbock Children

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Source: LPD Source: LPD

The man who found two kidnapped Lubbock children, and helped authorities rescue another, speaks out. Meanwhile, his cousin Kenneth Wilcox is behind bars in Oklahoma on a $750,000 bond, charged with aggravated kidnapping.

At the same time, three Lubbock kids are safe and back with family. Family members tell NewsChannel 9-year-old Angel Contreras, 11-year-old Jasmine Bazan, and 15-year-old Lashawnda Theriac went with Wilcox and his son on a trip to Six Flags in Arlington. But when the children didn't return on Sunday as planned, the families called police.

Authorities arrested him Tuesday morning near Idabel, Oklahoma, which is 452-miles away from Lubbock. The arrest comes after hours of law enforcement efforts in several different states along with a phone call from Wilcox's cousin. "They were watching TV when I got there," Terry Keaton, Kenneth Wilcox's Cousin said.

Keaton returned home from work Monday to find Angel Contreras and Lashawnda Theriac in his camper. Earlier Wilcox's ex-wife contacted Keaton to inform him of the situation with the children and told him, "If you see him or hear from him make sure you call the law and that's what I did," Keaton said.

"They were hungry, hadn't eaten very much. Of course we brought them here and feed them,' McCurtain County Sheriff, Johnny Todlock said.

According to the arrest warrant, investigators believe Wilcox posed a great danger to the children's safety. Apparently, Wilcox had dropped his son off in Amarillo and turned over his birth certificate. Reports show he told his ex-wife she would not see him for a long time.

The warrant also shows Wilcox has a history of possible sexual abuse and FBI records show a possible kidnapping history, as well. "Much of the information that they used to locate this third child is information that they were able to garner from the two children that they recovered initially," Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens said.  

Reports indicate Angel and Lawshawnda used Keaton's cell phone to call their parents from his camper. The children and Wilcox had been camping in different places since Friday with little food.

Just before midnight on Monday, the families learned the two children were safe. But 11-year-old Jasmine Bazan was still believed to be with Wilcox. "It was good, but when we found out that Jasmine wasn't with them it hurt still," Angel and Jasmine's Aunt Judy Ortiz said.

Angel stated Wilcox had taken Jasmine to a Wal-Mart, about 19-miles away in Idabel, Oklahoma. Lubbock Police immediately contacted the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office, which reportedly set up roadblocks in hopes of finding them.

Just before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, authorities found Wilcox and Jasmine in the car. "His intentions are certainly suspect at this point, but what they are remains a point of speculation," Stevens said.

"Without you all we wouldn't have been able to find them I hope this doesn't happen to nobody else," Angel and Jasmine's Uncle Mario Ortiz said.

This arrest warrant also states when authorities searched Wilcox's Lubbock apartment, and found it completely empty. Again all three children are safe, which is a wonderful birthday gift for Lashawnda who turned 15 on Tuesday.

Texas Amber Alert Updates
Read more about missing children in the state of Texas. Also learn more about what you can teach your children about abductions.

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