SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - A 15-year-old girl abducted from a medical facility in Alabama has been spotted in San Augustine.
Alabama's Dothan Police Department issued a release on Friday morning stating the girl and her accused abductors were spotted in East Texas.
San Augustine County Sheriff David Smith says the preacher of First Baptist Church in San Augustine reported that the suspected abductor, Charles "Dean" Partin came to his church around 7:30 a.m. Thursday seeking gas money.
The preacher copied his driver's license, as it's standard protocol when giving away money.
Sheriff Smith says Partin got back into a green minivan and drove off with a woman and six children. He said he stopped at a Brookshire Brothers on State Highway 21 to get gas before heading west.
San Augustine County Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham says the preacher said everyone seemed okay in the van, and no one seemed distressed.
Intelligence shows they used food stamps in the Beaumont area, Smith said.
Pastor Chet Hensley said he normally Googles names of people asking for help before he gives it to them. This time he did not.
"I had a hand in getting them away from here," Hensley said. "I had a part in not detaining them. Well my heart just goes out to whoever may be affected."
"If I would've known something was wrong, I would've followed them," he said. "I would've driven behind them. And just got police on the phone and stayed there with them."
Hensley said he visited with the couple for a little while, but the girl stayed in the vehicle.
"I talked to them a little bit," he said. "He indicated that something had happened in the life of his oldest daughter regarding her salvation. So I wanted to talk to her about it and see how that was going. So I just leaned into the van and talked to her a little bit. She didn't indicated there was anything troubling her. She had the opportunity to say I need help. She had the opportunity to say anything."
"I left a message with the sheriff's office," he said. "This morning I got a call saying 'those names that you gave me, they were wanted for kidnapping.' Well that just kills me. That just crushes my heart."
The FBI says East Texans are "key" to locating and bringing her home safely, and bringing her kidnappers to justice.
The girl, Ailene Lander, was last seen at the Southeast Alabama Medical Center on Monday afternoon, where she was attending a medical doctor's appointment. Ailene was in state custody, officials say, and the parents had no right to take her.
Officials say Ailene was transported to the appointment by an employee of the Department of Human Resources. That employee told police while at the hospital, she and Ailene were approached by Ailene's stepfather, Charles Partin. The DHR employee says Partin took Ailene to a van and exited the parking lot.
Ailene was last seen wearing a see-through white shirt and pink gym shorts. Police say Ailene's hair color may have been altered to appear blonde.
Partin was last seen wearing a dark shirt and dark blue jeans.
The FBI says intelligence indicates that Partin and Ailene may be accompanied by Ailene's mother, Julie Bethke and her five siblings.
Both Partin and Bethke have active warrants our for their arrest for the their participation in the abduction, officials say.
Authorities say they believe the suspects may reach out to charitable organizations seeking assistance.
No suspect vehicle description is available, as Dothan Police say the two-tone light blue over dark blue 1994 Mercury Village van was located with the girl and suspects no where nearby.
Border Patrol agents are on the lookout for all parties, as it's likely they'll make an attempt to cross the U.S. border.
According to information released by the Dothan Police Department, Ailene is in immediate medical danger, but would not specify further on her medical condition.
Authorities say a reward is now being offered for Ailene's safe return.
Anyone with information on this case should call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) and choose option one.