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Authorities cancel AMBER Alert after 14-year-old Van Zandt County girl found safe; man arrested for kidnapping

Willow Sirmans, 14, was located in the Louisville, Kentucky, area.

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas — A Van Zandt County girl who was at the center of an AMBER Alert issued on Wednesday was found safe and is with authorities.

CBS19 was the only station on scene when the announcement was made during a press conference at the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office just before 10 p.m. on Thursday.

Willow Sirmans, 14, was located in the Louisville, Kentucky, area with Austen Walker, 21. The VZCSO says Walker was arrested on felony kidnapping charges. Authorities believed Walker was acquainted with Sirmans' family prior to the kidnapping. 

Van Zandt County press conference

UPDATE: Willow Sirmans has been found safe! The Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office holds press conference with new developments in the case of a missing 14-year-old: https://www.cbs19.tv/article/news/local/authorities-seeking-whereabouts-of-14-year-old-van-zandt-county-girl/501-c20cdd92-ab0c-46c8-a24e-a484414c3e2a

Posted by KYTX CBS19 on Thursday, May 14, 2020

Officials say the second person of interest, Courtney Odum, was interviewed in the Missouri area and her information was critical in locating Sirmans and Walker. Odum was also taken into custody on kidnapping charges. 

The Van Zandt County District Attorney's Office tells CBS19, the investigation indicates Walker and Odum traveled from Texas to Kentucky with Sirmans. Then, Odum went to Missouri. 

The Van Zandt County district attorney anticipates seeking additional arrest warrants and additional charges as the investigation progresses. 

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, prior to being located, Sirmans was last seen Monday night around 10 p.m., in the 3000 block of Van Zandt County Road 1712.

Authorities say Sirmans will be medically evaluated, as it is standard practice in these types of situations.

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