Search goes on for missing Katy ISD officer

August 19, 2009 8:54:48 AM PDT
Law enforcement officers from all over southeast Texas are out in full force, searching for a man with a badge. Katy ISD Police Officer Julio "Trey" Reyes is accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Rachel Hillsman, who is a Katy ISD officer herself.

The pair, who have a child together, have not been seen since 6am Tuesday morning as Hillsman left for work. Authorities told Eyewitness News today that a small amount of blood was found in Rachel's vehicle.

The Brookshire Police Department is the command post for the search as officers are focused on an 8-mile radius in and around Brookshire. They believe Reyes and Hillsman are still in the area. She is a trained police negotiator and he is a veteran police officer who knows how these things work.

Authorities established nearly a dozen roadblocks in and around Brookshire. Officers are checking vehicles, though it's been more than half a day since anyone has seen Hillsman or her accused kidnapper.

"Our concern is growing tremendously," said Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith.

Authorities say early Tuesday morning as Hillsman, a Katy ISD police officer went to stay with her mother's home in Waller County. They say when she woke up to leave with her kids and Reyes was waiting for her.

Reyes, who is the father of her 13-month-old girl, forcibly kidnapped her. It happened at the property's front gate and he possibly used handcuffs. Hillsman was in uniform.

Family members and friends quickly rushed in for support.

"She's wonderful, she's wonderful. She's a wonderful young lady and we know God is able and she's going to come back safe and sound," said Hillsman's former teacher, Joyce Byars.

There is no shortage of manpower. Game Wardens are also assisting in the search. Helicopters are searching by air. Bloodhounds and SWAT teams stand ready, even freeway signs across the state are alerting drivers to Reyes' green ford pickup. Authorities don't know what kind of gun power Reyes may have, but they're assuming he's armed.

Relatives of Hillsman are fearful.

"I'm scared, I'm scared. If Trey can see us, please bring Rachel home, please," said Hillsman's aunt, Ava Henry.

Though the clock is ticking, investigators believe the two are still in the area and they're hopeful.

"We're looking for a kidnap victim who's alive, I'm not going any further than that," said Sheriff Smith.

The two were last seen in Reyes' pickup truck, a green 2002 Ford Super Duty with the Texas license plate 87V DP7.

The couple had been broken up for months, though they still communicated because they have the baby girl together. We learned that they verbally fought last night.

Reyes has been charged with aggravated kidnapping. He is considered armed and dangerous.

If you've seen either of them, or know where they may be, you're asked to call 911.

There is now a $25,000 reward being offered through Waller County Crime Stoppers.

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