The community of Lytle was in shock this past Friday evening, January 31, as four young children were reported missing. The four children, who are fifth graders at Lytle ISD, were reported missing after school around 4:15, and were thankfully found safe late that night. Lytle PD officers, Atascosa County deputies, and even a DPS aircraft was called in to help in the search which lasted six long hours.
“These are just young kids…10-11 years old. They were last seen by I-35, so that was kind of scary. Somebody could have picked them up and taken them 100 miles down the road before we even knew it,” Chief Richey Priest said. “It was a long night, but thankfully, this case had a very good ending, and we were able to go home knowing those kids were safe and back with their families.”
“Based on cell phone data, we thought they were in a field near the Best Western, but they were not,” Chief Priest said. “It started getting dark and cold, and DPS sent out an aircraft to search some of the hot spots, but we didn’t have any luck with that. So we went back to the PD, and regrouped. The phone was ringing off the wall. We were getting tons of phone calls from parents of kids that these kids go to school with, saying ‘My son said they were going to do this or that.’ School officials were also doing everything from their end to help, using all their resources to help locate them. Eventually, someone was able to get into contact with one of the kids, and we got a cell phone ping near the high school, so we went that direction, and that’s where a deputy found them around 10:30 pm.”
Police believe they had been in a bushy area near the high school.
“From what we are told, it sounds like they had planned to run away,” Chief Priest said.
Looking back on all of the support that night, Chief Priest commented, “We are really fortunate to live in a community, where everyone was calling in offering to help and support us.”