East Texas girl found, suspect in custody after Amber Alert



Posted on May 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 7 at 11:17 AM

Mount Pleasant, Texas

View larger map

Mount Pleasant police confirmed Monday afternoon that 14-year-old Ruby Zavala -- who was the subject of an Amber Alert issued Sunday -- has been found safe.

Her alleged abductor, 22-year-old Jesus Ramirez, is in custody facing initial charges of aggravated assault and three counts of kidnapping.

"The family is ecstatic that their daughter's been recovered," said Mount Pleasant police Chief Wayne Isbell at a news briefing late Monday afternoon.

Investigators said the two were found Monday in a wooded area about eight miles east of Mount Pleasant following a 30-hour manhunt.  Police, sheriff's deputies, Department of Public Safety troopers and water district employees formed a line near the site where a car stolen from the victim's mother was discovered and combed through the area until Ramirez and the girl were found.

"We're extremely lucky that this girl with him was not injured," Chief Isbell said. "We have her at the hospital to see if any assault occurred."

Ruby, her mother and her three-year-old sister were abducted a knife point Sunday afternoon as the three left church. Ramirez later released the mother and the three-year-old and fled with Ruby.

Isbell said Ramirez had been obsessed with the girl he secretly dated. Isbell said Ramirez was charged with sexual assault of a child after the girl's family learned the two had a relationship and forced them to break up.

The chief revealed that the school district police had been asked by the family to keep an eye on Ruby because of the ongoing threat posed by Ramirez.

"We're going to do our best to make sure that he doesn't get out of jail," Chief Isbell said.