Girl at center of Amber Alert threat found in SW Houston

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor, Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor, Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - The 12-year-old girl at the center of an Amber Alert was found Thursday night in southwest Houston, according to police.

Jennifer Castillo was treated for injuries after she was found at 6600 Harbor Town Drive around 9 p.m.

Houston police said a credible threat was made against Castillo's life early Thursday.

According to the Houston Police Department, Castillo was last seen about 7 p.m. Tuesday when she left her Harbor Town Drive apartment in southwest Houston to make a phone call.

Police said Jennifer’s family was contacted after she went missing and that is when the threat against her was communicated, but they would not elaborate on the nature of the threats.

“We’re absolutely sure there was a threat made,” said Lt. D. Crowder, with Houston police homicide."Some of the content of the messages did indicate that she was fearful at the time. Fearful of whoever her captors were. She wasn't able to make direct contact. But statements made ... they heard some stuff in the background that made it seem she was fearful at the time."

VIDEO: Police provide update on Amber Alert

A woman who said she was Jennifer’s aunt told reporters Thursday afternoon that Jennifer's father is in prison, and that she received a call from someone threatening to cut Castillo into pieces if no one revealed who turned in Castillo’s father. She said she believes Castillo’s father is behind the disappearance. The woman said she and her family do not feel safe in their apartment.

Investigators said that Jennifer’s phone has been turned off, and they believe she was kidnapped and is being held against her will.

"If Jennifer is watching this, we want to reach out to her and we want to reiterate that she's not in any trouble. And if she does have access to a phone, she's more than welcome to call us. We just want to verify her safety," HPD homicide detective A. Vinogradov said.

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