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Amber Alert canceled | Missing McGregor teens found in Georgetown, one man in custody

The two missing 14 year old girls were reportedly found late Monday night, that's according to a detective with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.

GEORGETOWN, Texas — Editor's Note: The above story is from July 4, before the girls were located.

An Amber Alert for two missing teenage girls out of McGregor has been cancelled after McLennan County Sheriff's Office Human Trafficking Unit located the girls unharmed in Georgetown, Texas.

Lead detective of the Unit, Joseph Scaramucci, tells 6 News the teens were located with a man who has been identified as 30-year-old James Robert Van Houten. He is being booked into the Williamson County Jail facing two charges of harboring a runaway child. He will see a judge Tuesday morning.

Credit: McLennan County Sheriff's Office
James Robert Van Houten, 30, is suspected of harboring the two missing girls from McGregor.

Scaramucci says Van Houten has no relation to the two teens and had picked them up in Bellmead where they were with another individual. Van Houten then took the two teens to Georgetown. 6 News is still working to find out who all was involved in the situation but authorities are still investigating.

The girls were located with the help of data analyst from across the country that helped officials identify probable locations of the teens, according to Scaramucci. He says with the help of contacts Monday, they were able to get the missing teens to give minor details about their location which led detectives to Georgetown.

"I think that this is evidence that when departments work together to find missing kids and partner with other nonprofit organizations, how fast we can make things happen and get the children located," Scaramucci added.

The detective told 6 News, the Snapchat message that was sent by the teens that read "help" was their "cry for help."

"I think it's evident that we need to take missing kids seriously," Scaramucci added. "I would also say that we really need to be paying attention to who our children are talking to and what's going on in their lives because this is evidence that things can evolve very quickly and the situation can get pretty bad."

Both teens were reunited with their families early Tuesday morning.

Georgetown Police helped the MCSO Human Trafficking Unit with the arrest late Monday night. Scaramucci says there is still a lot to follow-up on with the investigation, including others that possibly harbored the missing teens over six days.

The girls had reportedly been missing from McGregor since last Wednesday. 

The McGregor Police Department issued an Amber Alert for the two missing girls early Monday morning.

The FBI officially joined the search Monday afternoon.

One of the girls' mother told 6 News on Monday that her daughter and the other girl are friends from school and had gone missing after a sleepover Wednesday night. 

A note was left to one mother later that night which said she would "make this right."

The mother said her daughter had initially gotten into a red car with a boy from the surrounding area and was taken back to his house. However, she said the boy's parents made him take her back to her neighborhood along with a chaperon.

The mother told 6 News the boy is helping police but some angry community members are still threatening him. She said that needs to stop. 

The mother said her daughter, who had already destroyed her phone, then asked to use a phone to make a call, and disappeared. Neither teen has been seen since. 

The mother said the case was originally classified as a runaway case and the McGregor detective assigned to it was not authorized to put out an Amber Alert last week. 

The situation changed early Monday morning. The mother said both she and McGregor PD have reason to believe the girls are in immediate danger.

She added that the FBI joined the investigation around 9 a.m. Monday.

One Amber Alert went out early Monday morning and another went out just before 11 a.m.

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