Kyle teen charged in sisters' kidnapping

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by ANDREW HORANSKY / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Updated Friday, May 27 at 9:33 AM

When KVUE News arrived at Lorrie Cantu’s house in Kyle on Thursday to talk about the safe return of her two missing children, she quickly drove off.

When reached by phone, she said she had to speak to an attorney and hung up. Her actions were very different from the day before when she pleaded with the media for help in finding her kids.

The 36-year-old mother of five, who family members say works at Capital Metro, spent much of her week in a frantic state of fear.

It was last Friday when her two youngest daughters, 16-month-old Mariana Pinales and 2-year-old Jasmine Pinales, went missing. Their older sister, 14-year-old Kendra Lee, allegedly kidnapped them and drove off in the family’s truck.

The stolen truck turned up Saturday off Burton Drive in Southeast Austin. There was no sign of the girls.

Then on Wednesday night, police acting on a tip found the missing toddlers and their older sister near Rundberg Lane and I-35 in Northeast Austin.  Police say they were dirty, but in good health.

Hays County deputies, Austin police, Texas Rangers and U.S. Marshals all helped in the search.  They are not saying who led them to the scene.

Kendra Lee has been detained and charged on two counts of kidnapping.  Police say she also answers to the name "Alejandra Rodriguez," and that she is mentally ill.

Hays County Deputy Brandy Reuter said charges could come to anyone who may have helped her hide the children.

“It’s very obvious that Kendra had some sort of transportation,” Deputy Reuter said.

Deputies took the two youngest girls to Dell Children’s Hospital to be cared for Wednesday.  Investigators say Child Protective Services took them into custody not long thereafter.

The young girls did not appear to be with the mother when KVUE News went to her home.

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