Tip helps locate missing teen
by Allen Worrell
Acting on a citizen’s tip that missing teenager Desiree Travers was staying at a house in Galax, local authorities found the 15-year-old early Wednesday morning, leading to the arrest of a Galax man.
Travers reportedly left her home late April 19 or early April 20 and had been missing prior to Wednesday morning. The search for Travers was about to enter its fifth day until police received a tip from a citizen that said she was staying at a house in Galax, said Hillsville Police Chief Greg Bolen.
At approximately 12:10 a.m., officers from the Hillsville Police Department, Galax Police Department, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation that resulted in the arrest of Carlos Enrique Reyna, 22, of Galax, said Bolen. Reyna was arrested by officers Jody Poole and Silverio Gonzales of the Galax Police Department on a warrant for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
Travers was taken into custody by Chief Bolen and HPD Investigator James Alderman and returned to her mother. The previously mentioned officers, along with Deputies Shannon Goad, Chuck Edwards, Rocky Dalton, and Sgt. Justin Haga of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, secured the house and found Reyna and the missing juvenile inside, Bolen said, adding that other charges on Reyna may be pending by the Galax Police Department.
“This brings a conclusion to a stress-filled and worrisome week that catapulted Desiree Traver’s case into the public eye. I cannot stress how important everyone’s help was with this case,” Bolen said. “Once again the public called in with tips, our ‘Facebook Faithful’ did an amazing job getting the word out to everyone, and the family was real tenacious and helpful with information and tips through this whole process.”
Bolen said the Hillsville Police Department was overwhelmed with support and help from other law enforcement agencies during the four days Travers was missing.
“All of the agencies who responded so graciously and willing to lend a hand wherever needed were amazing. I am so honored to be working in such close proximity with such competent departments,” said Bolen. “Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Galax P.D. worked hard and provided great support to us. The FBI’s field agent came in from the Roanoke office to assist us and provided strong support. This was a total team effort with everyone coming together and caring enough about a missing girl to help spread the word of her missing, and that eventually led to her being found.”
Bolen said he has been amazed at the power of social media. This case spread quickly, reaching many across the nation and beyond, including Southeast Asia.
“I had a man from Vietnam message me to say that he had sent the information to a relative in Miami, Florida, who in turn had printed up our missing person posters and hung them around the airports, bus stations, and taxi stands. A man from Vietnam helped with this search!! That’s the great thing about Facebook, you don’t even have to ask and people will share the posters or pictures of the wanted or missing,” Bolen said. “I cannot begin to express my full gratitude to our Facebook Faithful. Thank you again to everyone for your help in returning this little girl to her family.”
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