Circumstances surrounding local teen’s kidnapping are ‘questionable’

Gabrielle Rivera (left) and Josephine Marie Monrial. (Waco Police Dept. photos)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A Waco teenager whose abduction triggered a two-county search is safe and a woman described as her cousin is jailed, but the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping are questionable and may involve other illegal activities, police said Thursday.

Gabrielle Rivera, 19, whom police initially described as a young girl, was lured into a car Wednesday afternoon in the 1100 block of North 6th Street under the pretense that her sister needed help, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Thursday.

Rivera’s sister reported the abduction at around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“Evidence indicated the victim was being held against her will and she was pleading for help,” Swanton said.

Police in Waco, Bellmead, Robinson, Marlin and Department of Public Safety troopers joined the search and authorities issued a call for public assistance in the effort to find Rivera, who was released at around 11 p.m. Wednesday near the H-E-B store in Bellmead from where she called a friend and got a ride back to her apartment.

Around 11:45 p.m. police found Rivera’s cousin, Josephine Marie Monrial, 31, at an apartment in the 1100 block of North 6th Street.
Wednesday night police identified a second possible suspect in the abduction as Richard Steen, but Swanton had no further information about him Thursday.
She was arrested and remained in the McLennan County Jail Thursday charged with kidnapping and drug possession.

Her bonds total $28,000.

Police still have questions, though, Swanton said.

“The circumstances surrounding the kidnapping are still being looked in to. They are very questionable and possibly involve other illegal activities,” he said.

Wednesday night police identified a second possible suspect in the abduction as Richard Steen, but Swanton had no further information about him Thursday, saying only that the “investigation is ongoing.”