Missing Kennewick teen has not contacted police

Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldDecember 13, 2013 

Local police said Friday they still have not heard from a Kennewick teen reported missing last week.

Elizabeth Romero reportedly called her mother earlier this week to say she was in Jalisco, Mexico, and not injured, police officials said. Police canceled an Amber Alert issued Dec. 5 after confirming Elizabeth had called.

Authorities can't say for sure where the 14-year-old is now or if she is in danger, said Kennewick police Sgt. Randy Maynard. Elizabeth's family has told police they haven't spoken to her since she last called.

The family was "satisfied" after speaking with Elizabeth that she was not in danger, police officials said.

"We are nowhere close to saying 'here's what happened' or 'here's what transpired when they left,' " Maynard said. "We may never be able to answer these questions because there may be a limited amount of people who are aware of those details. The case is still very active."

The man accused of abducting the teen, Edwardo Fabien Flores Rosales, is wanted by authorities. Police say he and Elizabeth have been dating for a short period of time. A kidnapping warrant has been issued for Rosales' arrest.

Now that Elizabeth is believed to be in Mexico, local authorities -- who don't have jurisdiction across the border -- are limited in what they can do to try to bring Elizabeth home, Maynard said. Local police have been told Mexican authorities don't plan to get involved in the case. Police believe Rosales, 19, may be in Mexico too, though they don't know for sure.

Police have tried to reach out to different private organizations to see if they would help reunite Elizabeth and her family, Maynard said. He didn't say which organizations. Elizabeth reportedly has family in Jalisco whom her mother was trying to connect her with.

Police are unsure how or when Elizabeth crossed the border, Maynard said.

"We continue to investigate to try to uncover any potential evidence or statements that helps shed some light on the situation," Maynard said. "We are not absolutely certain of all the sequences of events."

Local police have investigated several people to see if they may have known about or helped in the abduction, Maynard said. Officials believe a second suspect may have helped Rosales get away. No charges have been filed.

Elizabeth was last seen on Dec. 4 getting into a green sports utility vehicle outside of Phoenix High School in Kennewick.

A local FBI agent has handed the case back over to the Kennewick Police Department.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Kennewick police at 509-628-0333.

-- Tyler Richardson: 582-1556; trichardson@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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