Updated at 9:37 p.m. Wednesday: According to multiple media outlets and a tweet by the Round Rock police chief, the girls have been found safe and the person accused of taking them is in custody.
Original story below:
An Amber Alert issued Sunday when two girls from Round Rock went missing has been lifted in Texas but is still active in other states, and search efforts have shifted to southern Colorado.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks said police are now treating the death of 44-year-old Tonya Bates as a homicide. Her former roomate, Terry Allen Miles, remains a person of interest.
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"We know he was in southern Colorado since at least Dec. 30, and still we have agents and law enforcement out there tracking down these tips," Allen said.
Police in the Round Rock area had been searching for 7-year-old Luluvioletta “Lulu” Bandera-Magret and 14-year-old Lilianais “Lily” Griffith after officers were called Sunday for a welfare concern.
When police arrived they found Bates' body. Miles was identified as a person of interest in the suspicious death and in the disappearance of the girls.
Lulu is described as a white female, approximately 4 feet, 5 inches tall and 75 pounds with very curly brown hair. Lily is described as a white female, approximately 5 feet tall and 100 pounds with blond hair, braces and a nose stud in her right nostril.
Police released a description of Miles as a white male is 6 feet, 2 inches, 200 pounds, wears glasses and possibly has a beard. Miles could be en route to Louisiana in a gray 2017 Hyundai Accent with a Texas license plate number reading: JGH9845. Police said the vehicle has a hatchback with a white sticker on the upper right hand corner of the rear window.
Police are cautioning anyone who locates the vehicle to avoid approaching it and to call 911 immediately.
During the press conference Allen displayed two surveillance video images taken from a store in southern Colorado on Dec. 30.
"We are investigating a number of tips in southern Colorado. We have not located them, but those tips seem to be good tips. They've come from psychics and everywhere else," said Allen. "We're working with all agencies throughout the United States looking for these two young ladies and Mr. Miles. Law enfrocement agencies are tracking down these tips to see if they are credible or not."
Anyone with information about the missing girls should call Round Rock police at 512-218-5515.