Missing teen from Louisiana found under bench at Aransas Pass park; suspect arrested, police say

Caller said girl seemed ‘out of it’

Joseph Phillips, 26, was found in Aransas Pass, Texas, and was wanted in Luisiana for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and kidnapping. (Aransas Pass police/Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office)

Police in Aransas Pass arrested a man in connection with a 14-year-old girl’s kidnapping in Louisiana.

Aransas Pass police said the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office contacted them on Tuesday because they believed the girl and the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Joseph Phillips, were in the area.

They allegedly tried to use a debit card at a local gas station, police said.

As police investigated the report, a concerned citizen contacted firefighters and reported that there was a “suspicious” man in a park with a young girl.

The girl looked “out of it” and was sleeping on a bench, the caller told police. They added that when the man came out of the restroom at the park, he had a large cut on his leg.

Police responded to the park and found the girl lying underneath a bench, but the suspect left before they arrived. The girl had two motorcycle helmets near her.

Officers later spotted the suspect riding a motorcycle and detained him.

Police said he had been wanted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and kidnapping.

He is expected to face more charges, according to VPSO.

He will remain in Texas until he is extradited to Louisiana. VPSO said they are making arrangements to return the girl home.

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