El Paso

Parent: 5 middle school students lured to Mexico by promise of all-expense paid trip to beach

Parent: 5 middle school students...

EL PASO, Texas - UPDATE:

Four of the five middle school students who reportedly walked away from school and were found in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, were reunited with family members Friday, said officials with the Attorney General of the State of Chihuahua.

Juarez Municipal Police identified the four children as Ibrahim Magallón, Johanna Caldera, Bryan Mijares and Ángel Gabriel Valverde. Officials with the Attorney General said the four are of American nationality.

A fifth student, 10-year-old Edna Esmeralda Moreno, was still reported as missing Friday.

Earlier Friday, Juarez Police said an Amber Alert helped police find four of the five students who walked away from Armendariz Middle School in Central El Paso Thursday.

One of the four, 13-year-old Johanna Caldera, was reportedly found at her father's house in Juarez. The ages for the other three are listed as 11, 12, and 12.

One of the parents of the students told ABC-7 Friday that one student convinced the rest she could take them on a beach trip to Veracruz with all expenses paid.    

The parent said after class Thursday, the five conspired to travel together to spend time at the beach. Authorities said the students told a public prosecutor that they spent the rest of the day at a nearby park, and later decided to spend the night there.

The following morning, they reportedly made their way to the Santa Fe International Bridge, and at one point, stopped at a nearby gas station.

Officials with the Attorney General said around 7 a.m. Friday, someone paid the toll fee for the five to cross the pedestrian bridge.

From there, they were still able to travel nearly seven miles to Juan Pablo Segundo street in Juarez. 

The students told police that they weren't familiar with the city and got lost trying to make their way back home to El Paso.

Friday afternoon, Mexican authorities said they recognized the children after the Amber Alert had been issued in El Paso.

Officials said the students told them that 10-year-old Edna Moreno left the group. She has not been seen since. 

Police in Juarez are still trying to locate Moreno.

The four were taken to the department of social work in Juarez. From there, they were picked up by investigative agents of the Public Prosecutor's Office, and their relatives were contacted.

Once the family member proved the kinship with proper documentation, the students were handed over.

The mother of one of the children told ABC-7 the children walked away from the school shortly before 3 p.m.

A spokesperson with El Paso ISD confirmed the students attend Armendariz Middle School, but said the students disappeared "after hours."

 


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