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14-year-old girl missing from Louisiana rescued in Aransas Pass, kidnapping suspect arrested

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Aransas Pass kidnapper
Posted at 11:21 AM, Oct 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 14:51:50-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Investigators with the Vernon Parish Sheriff's office in Louisiana contacted the Aransas Pass Police Department on Tuesday in reference to a kidnapping suspect that may have been in the vicinity.

According to Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, 26-year-old Joseph Phillips and a 14-year-old missing juvenile were possibly in the Aransas Pass area on a purple motorcycle.

The kidnapping suspect attempted to use a debit card at Murphy's gas station around 9 a.m. on October 4.

"As officers were obtaining this information, our telecommunications officers received additional information from an AP firefighter who a concerned citizen contacted directly," said officials.

"The citizen reported a male in his 20s and a very young female at the little league park who appeared suspicious. The caller said the female looked 'out of it' and slept on a bench," added police.

According to the reporting party, a male came out of the bathroom at the little league park with a large laceration on his leg.

Several officers went to the area suspecting the two people were, in fact, the subjects from Louisiana.

"A female juvenile was located lying down under a park bench, and there were two motorcycle helmets next to her. She was identified as the missing juvenile," said APPD.

Officials say the male left before AP police officers arrived.

While officers were combing the area, investigators observed a male subject traveling eastbound on E. Johnson on the purple motorcycle.

26-year-old Joseph Phillips was taken into custody after police pulled him over without incident in a traffic stop.

"The male subject was confirmed to be Joseph Phillips," said officials.

Phillips had active warrants for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (misdemeanor) and second-degree kidnapping (felony) out of the Parish of Vernon, Louisiana.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's office and Texas Child Protective Services were alerted so they could take over this investigation and return the juvenile to her parents.