Girl found bound, gagged in back seat

HOUSTON - A 16-year-old girl was found bound and gagged in a vehicle in the parking lot of southwest Houston health club Friday.

Houston police said parents noticed their daughter was missing when they went to wake her up for school. The family's SUV was also gone from their home on Yarwell Street.

Officers searched for the vehicle and spotted it at 24 Hour Fitness in the 8600 block of Endicott Lane in Meyerland Plaza shortly after 8 a.m.

Investigators said the girl was in the back seat, bound and gagged with duct tape. She was described as "very sleepy."

Police said the girl is not yet talking. They don't know what time she left her home and if she left on her own.

She was taken to Texas Children's Hospital to be checked out.

Customers at the health club were shocked at all the police activity in the parking lot.

"I've never seen anything like this -- never," said Carla Cohodes. "There was a girl with her feet ... she was sitting. The police were already here. I saw somebody sitting in the back seat."

An investigation is under way. Police took the girl's laptop and cellphone to see if they can provide clues in the case.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.