Antonio Saldivar, 17, was last seen leaving his home in the southeast Bellfort area at around 6pm on Valentine's Day. He was headed to deliver a gift to a girl, but he never made it to her house.
Antonio's mother says she began calling him after he didn't make curfew. The phone calls and text messages continued through the night, when she finally got an answer just after 4am on Saturday.
Connie Netro, Antonio's mother, recalled, "I said, 'Where are you? You know you're in trouble.' And he goes, 'Yeah, I know I'm grounded, but I will be there. I'm coming, I'm on my way.' And that was it."
That was the last she heard from Antonio.
Family members say a tow truck driver found Antonio's car a short time later. It had been totaled after hitting a pillar in the 8000 block of Harrisburg, with only the teen's shoes inside.
"I don't want to think the worst at this point because I want to be strong, not only for me but for my mother," said Antonio's sister, Jessica Perales. "She needs me as well."
" I have a lot of hope," Netro said. "I have a lot of faith in God. I know we're going to find him. With more eyes out there, he's got to turn up. Somebody's got to see him."
Tim Miller with EquuSearch said, "We actually had a witness who called yesterday who said he saw a dark SUV run Antonio off the road into that pillar."
That's scary to Antonio's mother, but she says she is hopeful her son will be found alive, that maybe he hit his head and became disoriented. She's hoping someone in the community helps her get her son back.
"You're not in trouble," she said. "I just want him home, because that's my baby."
Antonio was last known to be wearing a purple leopard-print hoodie with a black muscle shirt underneath, khaki shorts and brown deck shoes. He has a tattoo on his left arm of a clown-faced girl removing her shirt and a tattoo outline of Texas with HOUSTON in the middle.
Antonio is reported to be Hispanic, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 145 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion.
Today's search began at 9am at Park Memorial Church.
Anyone with information on Antonio's whereabouts is asked to call Houston police at 713-222-3131 or Texas EquuSearch at 281-309-9500.
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