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More arrests made in case of McGregor girls who went missing for nearly a week

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office said three people are now charged in connection with the girls' disappearance.

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — The video above was published on July 5, 2022.

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office arrested two people and rearrested a third in connection to the disappearance of two McGregor girls, according a news release sent Wednesday.

Both 14-year-old girls were found alive in Georgetown about a week after they were first reported missing on June 29. Authorities said during their disappearance, the girls were brought to multiple homes, including in Bellmead and Belton.

The news release said Justin Anthony Phillips, 33, and Ricardo Chavez Arriaga, 24, were arrested Monday. They were charged with harboring a runaway child.

James Van Houten, 30, who was initially arrested on July 5, was rearrested Tuesday on a charge of trafficking. He already faced two charges of harboring a runaway child.

Van Houten was arrested at his Georgetown home after a short standoff, according to the sheriff's office.

"It's very sad. They were in a very dangerous situation with several different people," McNamara said during a news conference shortly after the girls were found. "We have reason to believe they were mistreated very badly."

RELATED: 'They were mistreated very badly' | McLennan County Sheriff says more arrests coming in case of teens who were missing for six days

The sheriff's office said the investigation was still active and more arrests were expected.

“We are going to make these scumbags accountable for what they did to these young girls," said Sheriff Parnell McNamara. "There will be more charges and more arrests to come. We are not going to let up.”

McGregor Police, the FBI, Texas Rangers, Georgetown Police and the McLennan County Sheriff's Office Human Trafficking Unit were all involved in the investigation.

Stay with 6 News as this story develops.

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