HOUSTON Authorities found the 14-year-old girl who was abducted from Cypress on January 22 in Florida Monday and arrested the 33-year-old man accused of taking her.
An Amber Alert was issued for the girl last Tuesday after she disappeared with Jacob West. Authorities said she was walking with a family member that afternoon when West drove up in a silver GMC Envoy and she hopped in.
West drove away with the teen, leaving family members to fear the worst.
Family members suspected West, her former neighbor, and the teen were having an inappropriate relationship and ordered him to stay away from her. Her parents moved the teen with her uncle just to get her away from the man, but that still did not work.
Authorities say West continued to pursue the girl until the two eventually ran off together.
The girl s mother was glad to hear that her child was found.
I started crying, I was excited, I can t wait to go get my baby, she said.
The woman said she recently found out the pair were involved in a relationship, but she said it didn t start out that way, when West and his family moved in next door.
We were friends, and he treated her like a daughter at first; he s got two kids of his own, he treated her like a daughter, she said.
A week before the Amber Alert went out the girl s grandmother called police when she disappeared the first time. A Harris County Sheriff s deputy found the pair and West confessed to having sex with the girl, the mother said.
The officers had a confession why he didn t go to jail that day? I have no idea, she said.
But when West s wife kicked him out of their home the girl s family let him stay with them. And that s when the girl and West left.
We didn t see it and he more or less conned us, she said.
The focus now, the girl s mom said, is to pick up her daughter in Florida and bring her home.
Right now, the girl s family is making arrangements with the FBI to get to Florida.
West has been charged with sexual assault of a child, but more charges could follow.