A 15-year-old girl who was believed to have been abducted from her Texas town was found in the woods days later in what police said was a staged kidnapping she plotted before running away with a boy.
An extensive search was launched to find Ryder Skye Cambron after her utility vehicle and cellphone were discovered in a wooded area near a park in Magnolia Tuesday, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office said.
She had last been seen leaving her home hours earlier, and numerous law enforcement agencies responded to help scour the area for any signs of the teen, but she was nowhere to be found.
Authorities said they had “concern for her safety due to the wooded area where she was last seen and the inclement weather expected to hit the area in coming days,” as Montgomery County braced itself for high water road conditions in the hours ahead.
But as detectives prepared to search the wooded area with tracking canines, “an alert citizen” reported having seen a “suspicious person hiding in the shadows on the railroad tracks nearby,” the sheriff’s office said.
The person seen on the tracks was wearing a camouflage hooded sweatshirt and black shorts, the same outfit Ryder had last been seen wearing.
Investigators tracked her 4.4 miles away to a house in Dobbin, where they said she had spent about 28 hours with a 17-year-old boy and two men. “Once she learned detectives were possible en route to her location,” Ryder allegedly fled into the nearby woods.
Police eventually caught up to Ryder and interviewed her about her disappearance.
“As this investigation unfolded, we have learned that Ryder orchestrated her disappearance with a 17-year-old male and left clues for her family to believe that she had been abducted,” the sheriff’s office said. “Ryder intentionally left the UTV and her cellphone at the park and left with the 17-year-old male to a residence in Dobbin, Texas.”
Ryder suffered no harm while away from her home, police said. Her alleged motive remains unclear.
“This is still an active investigation as detectives are looking into possible charges to anyone responsible for harboring a runaway,” the sheriff’s office said.