SAN ANTONIO- A teenage mom and her baby girl have been missing for more than two weeks. But it took days before her family could file a missing persons report. As a result, they fear they may have lost precious time to find their loved ones.
It takes 48- hours before a missing persons report can be filed. In this case it took 11 days since the family said police first labeled 19- year old Natalie Perez as a run away.
Her sister Eva Perez said, “She didn't go to school so she went to the store and took the baby and after that we didn't know what happened”.
Eva Perez said that was on Friday February first round noon. Natalie, who is a student at John F. Kennedy High School, wasn't feeling well that day so she stayed home.
Her dad last saw her at their house located along the 4000 block of El Paso Street on the Westside. He had just given her $20 to go to a nearby convenience store so she took the baby and took off walking. But Natalie’s family later found out she and her baby never made it to the store.
“So we began to worry that she didn't come back and she didn't take anything with her, all her clothes is here, her charger to her phone is here,” explained Eva. After several hours the family called police.
Eva said because Natalie is not a minor she was classified by police as a runaway so the family couldn't get any help from agencies that assist in finding missing persons. They also couldn't inquire about an amber alert for Natalie’s daughter 20- month old Hazel Rodriguez. Instead they tried other avenues to find their loved ones.
“We've been putting flyers, we've been trying to post things on Facebook, maybe friends have seen her somewhere, but nothing has happened, nobody has seen her”.
After some persistence, the family did get police to re-evaluate their case and they have since re-classified Natalie and Hazel as missing.
Now, their family has been able to set up a meeting with the Heidi Search Center and they are also inquiring about an amber alert. They are urging anyone with information to call San Antonio Police at 210- 207-7420 or to contact the Perez family at 210-602-6427 or 210-602-6158.