TONGANOXIE, Kan. -- Kansas City police confirmed on Tuesday that they were releasing a man they were holding on suspicion he may have been involved in the disappearance of three girls, after the girls were located and determined to be safe early Tuesday morning.
It was initially reported that the sisters- 15, 14, and 12-years old ran away from their foster home in Tonganoxie on August 26, 2017.
Kansas City Police spokesperson Darrin Snapp says that at about 1:00 a.m., Tuesday Tonganoxie Police asked them to go to a house on Kansas City's eastside, after they'd received a tip that the sisters were in the house with Rigoberto Reyes Rangel, 48, also known as Rico Rangel. Rangel is their mom's ex-boyfriend.
When police arrived, they found Rangel with the girls. Officers did find them safe and in good health. According to police, the girls contacted Rico Rangel claiming that they were being abused by their foster parents, so he took them from the foster home.
Kansas City, Mo., Police told FOX 4 that Tonganoxie Police asked them to hold Rangel. KC Police said five hours later, Tonganoxie Police said Leavenworth County was not going to file charges against Rangel, so they released him.
Tonganoxie police have not returned phone calls seeking comment on the investigation.
The FBI confirms that it is assisting Tonganoxie police in the investigation but so far that assistance has been limited to the return of the three missing girls.
Others living in the house speak Spanish. According to a translator, a man confirmed that the girls were staying there, but he didn't know they were missing from Kansas or are foster children. The man also claimed that Rangel has not returned.