AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police are “continuously searching” for a missing south Austin mom and her infant daughter while leaving every possibility open on their whereabouts.
Heidi Broussard and her daughter Margo Carey have been missing since Thursday, December 12. Margo, who was born Nov. 26, turned three weeks old Tuesday.
Exactly one week later, there’s still no sign of the mother and infant. Heidi’s mother Tammy Broussard told KXAN over the phone, there’s no way Heidi would leave voluntarily and leave her older son alone and vanish.
Police have established a dedicated tip line solely for details regarding Broussard and Carey. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 512-974-5100.
Police say the pair was last seen around 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Cowan Elementary School. Police believe they went back to their home in the area of West William Cannon Drive and South First Street at some point last Thursday, but they haven’t been seen since.
APD says currently there isn’t a person of interest in the case as they continue to interview family and friends.
“We don’t have a person of interest right now. To be completely honest, anything is possible at this time,” Detective Brad Herries with APD Violent Crimes said Tuesday.
Detective Herries went on to say detectives aren’t ruling out any possibilities, from foul play to Broussard leaving with the baby on her own.
The FBI’s Child Abduction Deployment Response team is assisting with the investigation, but APD is making it clear the FBI’s help isn’t an indication of what may or may not have happened to Broussard and her baby.
The Texas Rangers, Travis County Search and Rescue Team and Texas Parks and Wildlife are also assisting in the investigation. In addition, Detective Herries says the Department of Public Safety is coordinating investigations with out of state law enforcement agencies. APD is the lead agency on the investigation.
“At this time, we have no reason to believe Broussard nor the baby are harmed. We are still looking for them in a search and recovery manner,” Det. Herries said.
KXAN spoke to Broussard’s boyfriend, Shane Carey, on the phone Monday. Carey says he last heard from Broussard around 8 a.m. Thursday when she had just dropped off her other child at school. He is asking everyone to continue spreading the word and sharing their photos.
“He needs his mom. I need his mom… we need the baby back, we just had a sister,” Carey said.
On Tuesday, Carey told an NBC crew he doesn’t believe Broussard would have left on her own.
“She wouldn’t leave, not without an ID. All of her cash was in her purs. Her purse is here, her car’s here, and she’s a talker. She loves to talk. She loves her friends, she loves her family, and she would tell somebody, and all of her friends don’t know. Nobody has heard from her,” Carey said, continuing, “It’s only her and the baby and the cell phone and the keys that are gone, and that’s it.”
Police say electronic devices are being continually monitored for activity or tips.
Police say they’ve received numerous tips over the five days and are asking that all tips be submitted to the Austin Police Department at 512-974-5250.
Why search groups haven’t been called in
Austin Police told KXAN they’ve been in constant contact with groups like Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR) and Texas EquuSearch.
They said the groups haven’t been called in yet because police don’t have a specific area they can search.
TEXSAR explained they believe law enforcement is using the best resources the investigators have right now for this situation.
They said, in similar cases, they’ve helped by using search managers, behavior analysts, K-9’s, drones and even helicopter pilots.
Typically, they said they get called in after law enforcement has followed some leads and narrowed down search areas.
They can also help to double check evidence. An example TEXSAR gave us — if the police K-9 finds something, TEXSAR’s K-9 may be called into confirm the finding.
Concerns growing among neighbors
Hearing that it’s been several days since anyone has seen or heard from Broussard and her baby hits close to home for many people.
For Sarra, it hits extremely close.
“It just touches me, my heart because it’s so local,” she said. “The apartment where she lives, that was my first apartment.”
Sarra didn’t want us to use her last name, but told us she grew up in south Austin. “I know the area, and for that to be happening right there, it’s just like, it just hit me. I have a baby. I have three children. It’s just heartbreaking.”
Sarra said she talked to Austin Police about searching for Broussard and her baby and told them she wanted to organize a group of volunteers to try and find them.
She’s planning the first search for this weekend. She’s getting the word out through Facebook. Their meeting point will be Gateway Church South Austin on West Gate Boulevard.
Pastor Eric Bryant said it’s a tight-knit community that cares deeply.
“We have so many young families in this neighborhood. I’ve even talked about how our church has helped the big, fast-growing city feel like a small town,” he said.
Sarra said the hope is that Broussard and Carey will be found safe soon. That way, they won’t even need to search this weekend.
“That’s the hope,” she said.
Bryant said, “It’s just shocking. You hope for the best and continue to pray towards that.”
She added, she hoped APD’s news conference Tuesday would announce their safe return. Instead, they said the search is ongoing.