Missing Haltom City student is in compnay of suspected child predator

Posted Wednesday, May. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A man who is with a missing Haltom City student has a court hearing next week in Ohio on rape charges that involved a young Pennsylvania girl, police said Wednesday.

FBI agents and Texas Rangers also have joined in the search for the 26-year-old man and the 14-year-old girl.

Authorities say that family members have not had any contact with Ruby Contreras since she was last seen April 24 at North Oaks Middle School in Haltom City.

Police believe Contreras left the Tarrant County area, fleeing with 26-year-old Stephan Andrew Cox, who investigators described as dangerous.

Police confirmed that Contreras and Cox arrived in El Paso on April 25 and have alerted El Paso police to be on the lookout for the pair.

Cox is scheduled to appear in a Columbus, Ohio, courtroom on May 7 on charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in a January incident, according to NBC4i.com in Columbus. He was released from custody on Feb. 27 on house arrest and had been electronicially monitored. Information was not available on how he made it to Texas.

In January, a 14-year-old North Strabane Township, Pa., girl was found in Columbus, Ohio, with Cox. The girl apparently went to Ohio to meet Cox, with whom she had had an Internet relationship for several months, according to a report by the Columbus Observer Reporter.

The girl climbed out of a bedroom window, took her mother’s 2002 Chevrolet Suburban and drove to Columbus.

Columbus police stopped the vehicle when officers noticed that the girl was driving the Suburban erratically. Cox was a passenger.

In February, Cox was indicted on two counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

After leaving the school on April 24, Contreras never returned to her North Richland Hills home. Police believe that Contreras left Tarrant County with Cox.

“She may have left with him on her own, but she may not be aware of how old he really is,” North Richland Hills investigator Keith Bauman said Wednesday. “We believe she is in danger. The longer this lasts, the more dangerous it becomes.”

After the teen did not come home, police conducted searches and canvassed neighborhoods to find her.

Based on information from the investigation, Cox and Contreras may have bought bus tickets and traveled west.

“We have images on them in Abilene at a convenience store,” Bauman said.

Contreras is described as about 4 feet ll inches tall, about 95 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black hooded jacket and blue jeans. Cox is about 5 feet 5 inches and about 130 pounds.

Along with federal and state agencies, the Contreras case is being investigated by North Richland Hills and Haltom City police. Ohio authorities also are searching for Cox.

Anyone with information should call local police agencies.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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