It’s been nearly two full days since a 10-year-old girl disappeared from an East Texas church and prompting an Amber Alert.
Police are not sure Kayla Gomez was actually abducted, but there is no trace of her in and around that church in the small town of Bullard, south of Tyler.
The FBI and Texas Rangers are helping local police and sheriff’s deputies with the search. Investigators remaining titight-lippedn any leads or tips they may be following. Her family is asking anyone who knows anything, big or small to please contact authorities.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Kayla was at church attending a prayer service around 7:30 p.m. at First Assembly of God with her mother. Her family said she got bored and left the room to wait in the lobby and was playing with a baby cousin. When her mother went to check on her about an hour later, she was gone.
“At this time, Kayla is considered a missing child, although we have not ruled out that she’s been abducted,” said FBI Special Agent Thomas Class.
Kayla was a student at Jack Elementary School in Tyler. Investigators were at the school as part of the investigation.
Kayla’s family said it’s unlike her to wonder off. Her brother Kenneth Gomez said his mother hasn’t stopped crying. They have no idea who, if anyone, would want to hurt her.
“Of all places, the last place you would think it would happen,” Gomez said. “You do all things right. Seems unfair. We’re mad at each other, and we just feel like this shouldn’t be happening.”
Investigators have no good leads. The Bullard police chief said they’re searching for something that doesn’t exist.
“We can’t do much but just wait,” Gomez said. “There’s not much we can do.”
Family, friends and several local churches held prayer vigils Wednesday night to pray for Kayla’s safe return. Meanwhile, Cherokee and Smith County deputies took the time to check on every listed sex offender and their vehicle in the area.
K-9s were out searching the lot across the street from the church where she went missing and a Smith County Deputy was posted up in the family’s neighborhood.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is still the lead agency in the investigation but deferred to the FBI Dallas office to answer reporter questions. The special agent in charge said this is still an active Amber Alert and did not elaborate any more than or why Kayla is believed to be in danger.
Investigators said there were no surveillance cameras at the church where Kayla was last seen.
Kayla is described as being 4 feet tall and about 90 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black Racquet and Jog shirt with a peach-colored skirt.
“The family seems to be a very good, hard-working religious family with no problems. This little girl is a sweet little girl,” said Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell.
Anyone who spots Kayla should call 911 or the sheriff’s office at 903-683-2271.