Ryder Cambron is a 15-year-old Texas girl now accused of staging her own abduction, sparking a massive search effort by multiple law enforcement agencies.
Officials had indicated from the start that Cambron was a “missing runaway person,” but they launched what they called an “exhausting” search effort to find her and didn’t want to rule out any possibilities. However, when she was found, the story took an unusual twist. In a press release, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office wrote that Ryder Skye Cambron “has been safely located in the area of 5080 Jackson Road, Montgomery, Texas.”
Authorities alleged that “Ryder orchestrated her disappearance with a 17 year old male and left clues for her family to believe that she had been abducted.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sheriff’s Officials Say That Cambron Was Hiding at a Residence While People Searched for Her
In a press release on September 18, 2019, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reported that “Ryder Skye Cambron has been safely located in Dobbin, Texas. She was hiding at a residence and fled prior to Detectives’ arrival; however, after a search in a wooded area Ryder was located and is currently in police care.”
Police said in the press release that they had confirmed Cambron had run away and was not abducted. Authorities accused Cambron of intentionally leaving the “UTV and her cell phone at the park” and say she “left with the 17 year old male to a residence in Dobbin, Texas.”
They say that “Ryder had been hiding at the residence in Dobbin with the 17 year old male and two other adult males for approximately 28 hours, and fled into nearby woods once she learned Detectives were possibly en route to her location.”
2. After a Citizen Spotted Her, Police Say Cambron Led Them on Another Four-Mile Search
Detectives began preparing for “tracking canines to search the wooded area where she had last been seen” and “an alert citizen observed a suspicious person hiding in the shadows on the railroad tracks nearby.”
The citizen called the Sheriff’s Department to indicate “the suspicious person was wearing a camp hoodie and black shorts which is what Ryder was reportedly wearing when she went missing.”
Through use of a Department of Public Safety helicopter, Cambron was “located after again leading police on a lengthy search, having traveled 4.4 miles from the area where she was observed by the concerned citizen,” authorities wrote in the press release.
Ryder “was released into the care of her concerned parents” and after interviewing her authorities believed that “no harm had come to her during her absence from her home.” The investigation is active as “detectives are looking into possible charges to anyone responsible for harboring a runaway,” the release says.
3. Authorities Treated Cambron as a Missing Person Initially
At 8 p.m. on September 17, 2019, the sheriff’s department received a call that Ryder had gone missing. The teen’s family had found her ATV and cell phone at a park inside the subdivision where the family lives. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded and an extensive search was conducted of the area.
In a press conference, authorities asked the public to only follow credible law enforcement agencies to get information about the disappearance. Before she was found, authorities said they had not ruled out anything and were treating her as a missing person.
Authorities were speaking with family and friends of Ryder. The investigation included air support. At the time, authorities were asked if she had run away, and they called her a “missing runaway.” They said they had no information to suggest she had been kidnapped, but that she was not where she was supposed to be so they were investigating and ruling out nothing. They didn’t indicate any reason they knew of that would make Cambron not want to go home.
4. Many Law Enforcement Agencies & Concerned Citizens Were Involved in Trying to Local Cambron, Who Was Wearing Shorts & a Hoodie When She Disappeared During Inclement Weather
Authorities said that Cambron was in a hoodie and shorts when she was last seen. It was raining, dark and muddy. That was “one of the many suspicious things” that detectives were looking at, including why she was out in such clothing on an ATV.
The missing person’s advisory had indicated that Ryder was “last seen leaving her home” along Indigo Lake Drive in Magnolia, Texas, just before 8 p.m. on September 17, 2019. “The UTV that she was operating was later found abandoned at a park near her home along with her cell phone.”
Officials “searched the area extensively overnight for Ryder and have concern for her safety due to the wooded area where she was last seen and the inclement weather expected to hit the area in the coming days,” the advisory says.
Agencies involved in what authorities called an “exhausting search” including the Montgomery County Constable Precinct 5, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Public Safety, United States Customs and Border Protection, Montgomery County Search and Rescue, many concerned citizens and media partners, the Montgomery Sheriff’s press release says.
One person who shared a news story about Ryder’s initial disappearance wrote on Facebook, “EDIT: RYDER CAMBRON WAS FOUND SAFE LATE LAST NIGHT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!! The daughter of a close friend of mine has apparently been kidnapped. Please keep Ryder and the Cambron’s in your prayers. She was riding Mule ATV on her way home last night in her neighborhood in Montgomery County, TX; contacted her dad on her cell phone to let him know that she thought she was being followed. They went out to help her and found the ATV and her cell phone but Ryder was missing. Search is ongoing. Please pray for her and her family.”
5. Complete Strangers Joined Prayer Vigils for Cambron Before She Was Found
Mayra Moreno of ABC 13 described a vigil that was held for Ryder before she was found, writing on Twitter, “Vigil underway in Magnolia right now for missing teen Ryder Cambron. She went missing yesterday. Several religious groups, friends and family here praying. They will continue to search tonight after the vigil.”
People even knocked on more than 700 homes. Total strangers came to Magnolia to help pray for Cambron, ABC 13 reported, and hundreds of people turned out for a vigil.
Authorities said they didn’t believe she had disappeared before. They also haven’t indicated any motive for why Ryder might have tried to stage her own abduction.