Missing North Richland Hills girl is found safe in Mexico

Posted Thursday, May. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A missing 14-year-old North Richland Hills girl has been found in Mexico along with the 26-year-old man with whom she disappeared last week.

Mexican officials notified North Richland Hills police Thursday morning that Ruby Contreras and Stephan Cox were in custody and safe. It wasn’t clear when or where in Mexico they were found.

“This is very good news,” said Keith Bauman, an investigator with the North Richland Hills police. “We couldn’t ask for a better ending to this investigation.”

Authorities are working to have Contreras and Cox returned to North Richland Hills but had no timetable for that.

Contreras was last seen April 24 at North Oaks Middle School in Haltom City, where she was a student. Authorities say relatives had not had any contact with Contreras since she left with Cox, who has a court hearing next week in Ohio on rape charges that involved a Pennsylvania girl.

Contreras and Cox arrived in El Paso on April 25, and El Paso police were alerted to be on the lookout for them.

Cox is considered dangerous, police said.

Cox is scheduled to appear in a Columbus, Ohio, courtroom 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 Feb. 27 on house arrest and had been electronically 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 with Cox. The girl apparently went to Ohio to meet Cox, with whom she had had an Internet relationship for 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 erratically. Cox was a passenger.

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

Along with federal and state agencies, the Contreras case is being investigated by North Richland Hills and Haltom City police.

Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547 Twitter: @susanmcfarland1

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