Texas teens faked kidnapping that sparked Amber Alert, police say


(Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police say two Texas teens at the center of an Amber Alert earlier this week were not in danger and their kidnapping was a hoax. The Seagoville Chief of Police confirmed to KXAN sister station KETK that the 17-year-old and 16-year-old planned to stage a fake abduction from the Seagoville Trade Days Flea Market.

Although their names were released during the alert, KXAN is not naming the girls because they are underage.

Chief Ray Calverley told KETK in a phone interview that the girls arrived at the market around 8 p.m. with a friend, but couldn’t be found when it closed. Around 11:30 p.m., Calverley said one of them called her mother and said they were being held against their will.

The Amber Alert was issued Monday morning for two North Texas teenage girls last seen southeast of Dallas early Sunday morning. They were found by authorities Monday night in Plano. The alert, issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, didn’t include suspect information.

Police traced the call to a Dallas motel, but couldn’t find the girls when they arrived. Surveillance video showed them with two young men and they didn’t appear to be in trouble or held against their will.

Police found one of the men, 20-year-old Jose Penaloza-Estrada. He told them he had rented a hotel room in Plano and police found both girls there. They were not hurt.

Penaloza-Estrada faces a harboring a runaway charge. It’s not known if either of the teen girls will face charges.

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