Two teenage girls who had run away with an alleged kidnapper were returned home when authorities found them in a Mexican border town.
Mexican police found the two girls, ages 13 and 14, while conducting a door-to-door search Monday in Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass.
The girls, who had been missing for 10 days, were found with 22-year-old Steven Alan Stuber, of Austin, who was being held in the Comal County Jail on two kidnapping charges, authorities said. No bond had been set as of late Monday.
"It's like 1,000 pounds has been taken off my shoulders," said the grandmother of one of the girls. "I'll sleep tonight for the first time in 10 days. I tried to stay positive, but the longer it went on, the harder it was to hope for a happy ending."
Authorities said Stuber could face more charges.
The girls appeared to be unharmed, but Comal County Sheriff's Detective Tommy Ward said the girls would be interviewed and taken to a hospital for sexual assault exams.
The two girls ran away Oct. 7 from their homes in Spring Branch, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north San Antonio, authorities said. They allegedly went with Stuber.
Sheriff Bob Holder said Stuber has been charged with kidnapping because the girls were taken to Mexico without their parents' permission. Investigators didn't know details of the girls' relationship with Stuber and whether they ever decided they wanted to go home.
"We're trying to put the pieces of the puzzle back together," Holder said. "We don't have all the information right now, but we'll have it very soon."
County authorities learned Stuber was in Mexico based on information they received from someone Stuber had contacted by phone. Authorities then contacted the Mexican police, reports AP.
Ward said Stuber and the girls were staying at the home of a Mexican national Stuber met in prison while serving time on theft charge.
"The girls said the house was nasty and they had to bathe in the river," Ward said. "One of them said on the ride back to New Braunfels that it was the biggest life lesson they ever learned. They were scared and glad to be back in the United States. They are very lucky."
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