TEXICO, N.M. (KFDA) - A Portales man was arrested on Thursday afternoon after kidnapping a nine-year-old girl, according to the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
On Wednesday, May 15, a 9-year-old girl was reported to be missing after she didn’t return home from school in Texico.
After further investigation, officials determined that a family friend, 34-year-old Augustin Gallegos, of Portales, took the girl.
The Texico Police Department found the child locked in a storage room at a church in Portales at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. She was returned unharmed to her mother.
Gallegos said he had taken the girl to protect her from a family member that had been abusing her. Officials investigated his claim further but found it was not supported by any evidence.
“I am very proud of the work all law enforcement did on this case,” said District Attorney Andrea Reeb. "The Texico Police Department worked continuously throughout the night to find the child. Critical follow-up support and investigation was done by the Texico Police Department, FBI, State Police, Clovis Police Department, Portales Police Department, Curry County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. We continue to work together in this matter and the investigation is still pending.”
Gallegos is currently booked at the Roosevelt County Detention Center on a no-bond hold.