Missing Timpson girl found safe; police arrest Army soldier

Andrea Fox
Andrea Fox
James Dean Martin photo courtesy of DPS.
James Dean Martin photo courtesy of DPS.
Praise service held Friday night in Timpson, offering thanks for Andrea Fox's safe return
Praise service held Friday night in Timpson, offering thanks for Andrea Fox's safe return

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KTRE) - A 14-year-old Timpson girl who was reported missing from a local Amber Alert system has been found safe, according to League City authorities.

The Army soldier that Wichita Falls Police found with her, James Dean Martin, 21, has been booked into the Wichita County Jail on a charge of harboring a runaway and enticing a child. Officials said Martin will be arraigned Saturday morning before a Wichita County judge.

According to a League City press release, a tip was called in to the Wichita Falls Police around 8:45 a.m. Friday, advising them that the car described in the Amber Alert was parked on the side of the road. Police located the car and found Andrea Fox and James Dean Martin, 20, asleep inside the vehicle.

Her mother, Shay Schoening, said she was on the way to see Fox.

Wichita Falls Police have questioned Fox and Martin was booked into the jail Friday evening, according to jail records.

According to Snyder, a tipster saw the billboard about 1.5 miles before he saw the vehicle.

"We appreciate citizens' focus on our signs and it just shows how well this system works," Snyder said.

Fox was last seen about 1 a.m. Tuesday in League City, which is in Galveston County, near Houston.

"Just about four minutes before 8 this morning we got a call from a motorist who said they had just passed one of the TxDOT electronic signs that was broadcasting the Amber Alert," said Sgt. Joe Synder of the Wichita Falls Police Department. "And just about two off-ramps later he (an officer) saw the vehicle pulled over to the side of the road and called us."

Andrea's parents were on the road as soon as they got the news their daughter was safe. Family members in League City, where Andrea had been visiting grandparents, were also relieved.

"They were very grateful," said League City Spokesperson Kristi Wyatt. "Very glad to have found her."

Investigators suspect Martin gained Andrea's trust through numerous text messages. A handwritten note, believed to be from Andrea, said, "I went to New York with my friend."

The child's teacher says Andrea's middle name of 'Love' portrays her trusting nature.

"That love that she has comes through the gullibleness to believe the good in everybody," Joyce Moore said.

Martin had told his mother he wasn't involved. She wanted to believe him, but waited for the truth.

"I'll be honest with ya'll," Martin's mother said. "If he's got something to do with it, they need to nail him to the wall."

Friday evening, around 25 people gathered at the town gazeebo in Timpson in a praise service. Friends and neighbors joined in prayer, asking for understanding and healing in the situation.

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