ATLANTA -- A manhunt continues in Atlanta for a 32-year-old man accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old girl.
At first, police believed the teen, Arasely Jimenez-Vasquez, was a runaway. But later, detectives issued a Levi’s Call after police said Armando Aguilar held her against her will.
Jiminez-Vasquez was finally able to escape this afternoon, but it was only after residents in a southwest Atlanta neighborhood recognized something was wrong and called police.
Robert Evans was one of those neighbors. Wednesday night, he told 11Alive it was just another quiet afternoon for him and his family before he made that phone call to 911. Everyone enjoying the warm spring day.
"We were sitting right there on the porch," he told 11Alive’s Ron Jones.
Little did he know, though, that the 2800 block of 3rd Avenue would be the focus of an intense search for Jimenez-Vasquez.
Just hours before police swarmed this neighborhood, they held a press conference asking for the public’s help in finding the child.
"With each day that passes, we grow more and more concerned about her safety, as does her family," APD Lt. Andrea Webster told media earlier that day.
The last time anyone had heard from Jimenez-Vasquez was Saturday night through a text message to her aunt. Police believed she had run away was Aguilar, who was a friend of the girl’s family.
But just hours after that police press conference a woman ran frantically to Frank Evans’ home, screaming in Spanish, asking for help and pointing to the green house across the street. “Her parent came over here and told us what was going on,” neighbor Laquisha Ross said.
Robert said Aguilar has been living in the green house for about a year, and had seen the 12-year-old sped a lot of time there, too. But from what the Evan's family gathered through broken English, the distraught woman said the 12-year-old was allegedly trapped in the green house. "So we called the police immediately," Ross said.
Police later released a statement saying in part the 12-year-old was in good health and talking to investigator, but the manhunt was still on for Aguilar.