BEAUMONT, Texas -- A 15-year-old Mauriceville girl who went missing on Nov. 25 has been found safe, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Officials say Heaven Ray Cox was found safe Thursday. They released the following statement:
"After following several leads and speaking with numerous individuals, Orange County Investigators located Heaven Cox at a residence in Louisiana. Heaven was unharmed and has been reunited with her family this evening.
"Preliminary reports are that Heaven left her residence last Saturday on her own accord, but we will continue to speak to all persons involved. We have not ruled out pending criminal charges.
"The residence where Heaven was located belonged to a relative of a person that was known by Heaven. This investigation will continue and we will relay further information as it becomes available.
"We would like to thank everyone across many states for their assistance and prayers involved in locating Heaven."
Authorities are still looking for another missing girl from the area, 15-year-old Autumn Rice. Officials say Autumn has been missing since October 30.
Tammy Cox, Heaven’s mom, says when she initially went missing, it was heartbreaking she didn’t see her daughter in their Mauriceville home on Sunday morning.
"It's total shock, total shock. We did not see it coming. Mainly we don't have any answers at all, we have no name, no face to whoever she's with," Tammy Cox said at the time.
According to family members, Heaven was believed to be with a man she met online. It is unclear if anyone was with her when she was found.
"We are definitely looking at those aspects and treating this with a sense of urgency because we definitely want to find her and locate her as soon as possible," Orange County sheriff's office spokesperson Janois Grizzaffi said.
Autumn Rice’s case is separate from Heaven’s case, but Autumn’s mother sympathizes with Heaven’s mother.
"I feel sorry for that child's mother, nobody, no parent should experience this," Christian Rice said.
Rice says that there are no leads in her daughter’s case.
“I would give anything to be able to hear or see her, watch her laugh," Rice said.
According to 12 News file stories, Autumn was walking to West Brook High School when she was reported missing on October 30.
Autumn Rice is 5-foot-5 and about 160 pounds. She has brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information on Autumn Rice’s whereabouts is asked to call the Beaumont Police Department at (409) 832-1234.
Heaven Cox left a note saying she may be headed to California according to a press release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Heaven suffers from mental illness, according to Heaven’s mother.
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