EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story named the girls and showed their photos.  Because a man has been arrested in the case and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, we've removed the girls' identities. KHOU does not identify possible victims of sexual assault.

KHOU 11 has learned two girls who were reported missing earlier this week from the Alief area have been found safe.

Family members say the girls are back home as of late Thursday evening.

Private investigators say an anonymous woman spotted the two girls after seeing news coverage about them. The woman convinced the pair to get in her car and tell her where they lived.

The woman dropped them off at one of their homes just after 9 p.m., one of the mothers said. The mother said the anonymous woman did not want to deal with police and then took off.

Investigators say they believe the girls ran away.

The two left their homes around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday with their backpacks on. One was last seen in the 8300 block of Wilcrest. The other was last seen not far away in the 8300 block of Cinnamon Lane.

The young girls should have gone to their bus stop outside their apartment complex near Wilcrest and Beechnut. Instead, neither girl got on the bus or made it to school.

One of the girls’ mother spoke with KHOU 11 News while they were still missing.

“I need the girls, whoever has them,” the mother said. “Please turn them into the cops, because everybody’s looking for them."

An Amber Alert was not issued since the case had not met the criteria at the time of their disappearance.

The Department of Justice recommends five details to initiate an Amber Alert:

  • There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred
  • The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death
  • There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child
  • The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger
  • The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center

During their disappearance both girl’s phones were turned off, and they did not post anything online.

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