Two teen girls reported missing Saturday night after they were seen getting into a vehicle at Santo Domingo Pueblo have been spotted in Albuquerque, and authorities no longer believe they were abducted, New Mexico State Police said Monday.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is still searching for Zuriah Castillo, 14, and Jaylynn Miller, 16, who were picked up at the pueblo around 7 p.m. March 27 and driven to a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Albuquerque, where they were last seen, state police said in a news release.
An Albuquerque man named as a suspect in an Amber Alert issued Saturday night, Andres Pinto, said he did not abduct the teens, but was helping them get a ride. He said he was with an aunt of one of the girls when they called and asked for a ride because they were hungry.
“Zeriah told her auntie that her boyfriend kicked her out of the car and she was stranded in Santo Domingo,” he said.
Pinto said they took them to the hotel in Albuquerque that the aunt had already rented, then left to pick up food. When they returned, the girls were gone and they called the police, he said.
Pinto and the aunt, whose name has not been revealed by police, met with officers from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and were let go, he said. His name was not mentioned as a suspect in the recent release from New Mexico State Police.
“My name is tarnished,” he said. “The damage is already done. I’m getting death threats.”
Castillo is 5-foot-5 and 130 pounds, with bleach blond and dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black jeans, a white V-neck shirt and Vans shoes. Miller is 5 feet tall and 120 pounds with brown hair dyed red. She also was wearing a white V-neck T-shirt and black jeans.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs did not respond for comment.