The hunt for Keidra Kirby is growing on Sunday as the FBI and the Texas Rangers join the search for the 17-year-old who was reportedly snatched off the street and kidnapped by masked men in a white van.
Witnesses in Dallas said the teen was walking home with friends on Saturday when three men in a van pulled up and kidnapped her, NBC News reported. The teen’s father called police, who initiated a massive manhunt for the teenager.
“Several leads have surfaced and investigators are following up on each one,” police said in a statement early Sunday.
The circumstances of Keidra Kirby’s kidnapping sounded frightening, with Sgt. David Jackson telling NBC Dallas-Fort Worth that the suspects were dressed in all black and snatched the girl in a populated area.
“The fact they did this in broad daylight is astounding,” Jackson told the station. “It’s highly populated, and there’s a lot of foot traffic in that area. It’s a good neighborhood.”
Police say they do not have suspects or a motive in mind for the kidnapping of Keidra Kirby.
Police released details of the kidnapping, saying the men drove a van with dark windows, dual rear doors, and an equipment rack on top. Keidra Kirby was last seen wearing blue jean shorts and a red tank top shirt. She is between five-foot-nine and five-foot-10 and weighs approximately 165 pounds.
An Amber Alert has been issued for Kirby, and a number of agencies, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, are helping in the search for the girl.
Family members of Keidra Kirby are also making a direct appeal to the kidnappers to let her go.
“All I can do is wait,” her mother, Tawanna, told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. “Whoever you are, or whoever has my daughter, just let her go. Please let her go. We love her and we want her to come home.”
The kidnapping of Keidra Kirby comes just days after another Amber Alert ended in tragedy. In Montana, 1-year-old Kenzley Olson was found dead just hours after an Amber Alert went out to residents of two states regarding her disappearance.
Hours after she was reported missing, Kenzley Olson was found dead and stuffed in a bag that had been tossed into a dumpster, police said. Janelle Red Dog, who first reported Olson missing, was arrested on suspicion of murder. Police said Red Dog, 42, admitted to beating Olson to death before stuffing her body into a duffel bag.
The hours leading up to the discovery of Olson’s body included a frantic search, with police closing off a portion of Poplar, Montana. They rerouted traffic and closed the eastbound lane of U.S. Highway 2 during the search, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Police were seen searching homes and yards within the search area, the report added.
Police initially believed Olson was taken by either Melinda Tweet or Timothy Dornheim, but the couple was apprehended before Olson’s body was found, and police cleared them both of any involvement.
“The person arrested in connection to the death of Kenzley Olson is neither Melinda Tweet nor Timothy Dornheim,” police announced. “Both Tweet and Dornheim have been cleared of any involvement in this incident.”
A county spokesman said Kenzley’s cause of death has not yet been determined, with the FBI taking over the investigation.
Anyone with information about the kidnapping of Keidra Kirby is asked to call the Glenn Heights Police Department at 972-223-3478.
[Image via Texas Department of Public Safety/KEYE-TV]