Illegal immigrant facing new charges following lengthy Amber Alert investigation
Nacogdoches County, Texas (KETK) — Law enforcement officials have lowered a charge and added an additional charge against a Nacogdoches County man following a lengthy Amber Alert investigation.
On February 25, 2014, an Amber Alert was issued for a 15-year-old juvenile and a warrant on charges of kidnapping for Juan Arenas Delacruz, 27, of Center, who is an illegal immigrant.
The alert was issued after talking with family members and friends, who believed the suspect took the juvenile against her own free will and left in a car. Investigators also learned the juvenile had made mention she was afraid of the suspect and what he would do to her.
Investigators were able to learn the suspect's cellphone number and started tracking his phone. He was found in Lubbock, Texas, the following the day by multiple law enforcement agencies at a local construction site. Delacruz was taken into custody without incident. A short time later, the juvenile was found in a Lubbock motel room not far from where the alleged kidnapper was located.
The victim, after returning to Nacogdoches County, was interviewed four times, with difference accounts given to deputies each time. The suspect was also sent back to Nacogdoches County and booked into the jail.
Following interviews with Delacruz, authorities concluded the victim in this case did go with the suspect voluntarily, but also believe the victim may have felt pressured to go with the suspect. Delacruz has had a fixation on this victim for several months and attempted to manipulate the girl, said Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges.
On Thursday, Juan Arenas Delacruz, who admitted to a sexual assault in Nacogdoches County, was charged with sexual assault of a child and enticing a child, which is defined as a person who entices, persuades or takes a child younger than 18 years of age from the parent or guardian without their consent. Charges of kidnapping have been dropped against the suspect following inconsistencies from the juvenile involved.
No bail has been set on the most recent charges. Delacruz was being held on $50,000 for kidnapping.
The suspect also has a pending hold on him from the Border Patrol and more charges are expected to be filed in Lubbock for crimes occurring during the juveniles disappearance.
Child Protective Services is also assisting in the investigation.