Local News

S.C. sisters found safe, alleged abductor at large

Posted February 20, 2009 3:28 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2009 7:03 p.m. EST

Amber Alert

— North Carolina authorities on Friday afternoon canceled an Amber Alert for two South Carolina sisters whose father allegedly had abducted them after stabbing their mother late Thursday.

Officials said that 1-year-old Destiny and 3-year-old Melanie Reyes had been safely found, along with another missing child, 5-year-old Gerardo Hurto. Their father, Gerardo Reyes-Campos, 29, remains at large.

An anonymous call to police around 3 p.m. Friday led police to find the girls at an apartment complex in South Carolina's Lancaster County. Investigators think that Reyes-Campos left them there after stabbing their mother, Diane Madisol Trejo, 22, Thursday.

"He just kinda dropped them off," said Maj. David Belk, with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office.

South Carolina authorities said Reyes-Campos stabbed Trejo, his common-law wife, in the neck and hands during a fight at a Lancaster County home Thursday evening. Authorities say Reyes-Campos then took the children.

Deputies went to the home after a neighbor called 911 around 8:15 p.m.

Trejo was flown to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital in Columbia and was in critical but stable condition Friday. She suffered a 2½- to 3-inch-long stab wound on her neck.

Officials initially thought Reyes-Campos was headed to Monroe in Union County, N.C., but later said they believed he was headed south to Columbia, S.C. He may be driving a 1992, tan Isuzu Rodeo with South Carolina tag BJD-238.

Reyes-Campos is described as a white/Hispanic man, standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 170 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Deputies warned that Reyes-Campos is considered armed and dangerous. Members of the public should use extreme caution if they see him and should call 911 immediately.

Reyes-Campos' criminal record in South Carolina dates to 1996 and includes arrests for drunken driving, public drunkenness, domestic violence and cocaine possession.

Reyes-Campos, who is in the country illegally, was deported to Mexico in September, according to Lancaster Sheriff's Maj. David Belk. Authorities did not know he had returned to the U.S., Belk said.

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office has warrants out against Reyes-Campos for assault and battery with intent to kill. The office plans to file additional charges against him in relation to the abduction.

Anyone with information should call Lt. Brown with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division immediately at 803-896-7133, or call 911 or *HP (*47) on cell phones.