East Texas — Update (Friday, 2:45pm): San Augustine Sheriffs Department tells Fox 51, the kidnapped girl and alleged abductors have been spotted in San Augustine.
A man they believe to be the child's abductor came into the First Baptist Church in San Augustine around 7:30 am on Thursday, and asked the pastor for gas money.
They were seen driving a green minivan, which matches the description of the vehicle they are believed to be in.
The pastor reported about six children and a woman in the van as well.
Update (Thursday, 7:41pm): According to the Dothan Police Department, the van allegedly used during the kidnapping has been found in an undiclosed location.
The suspect, 36-year-old Charles Partin, is now believed to be driving a blue, green or blue/green minivan. No other description is available.
ORIGINAL STORY: Alabama authorities are asking East Texans to be on high alert as a kidnapped teen may be in the area.
According to the Dothan Police Department, around 1:05 p.m. on Monday, officers were dispatch to reports of a kidnapping on the 1100 block of Ross Clark Circle in front of the Southeast Alabama Medical Center.
When police arrived, an employee with the hospital told them she had taken Ailene Lander, 15, to the medical center for an appointment. While at the office, the worker and Lander were approached by 36-year-old Charles Partin, the child's stepfather. Partin grabbed the teen and put her inside a van, then left the parking lot.
A van was stopped shortly after at the Dothan city limits, but it was not Partin.
The girl was last seen wearing a white shirt and white/pink shorts. Lander hair color may have now been altered to appear blonde. In addition to the immediate danger from her abduction, Landers’ may also be in medical danger.
The suspect, Charles Partin, A.K.A. "Dean", is described as a white male and was last seen wearing a baseball cap, dark colored shirt and dark jeans. He is a truck driver with carpentry skills. He has also previously been convicted of motor vehicle theft. Both Charles Partin and now Julie Bethke currently have active warrants for arrest for their participation in the abduction.
Partin is believed to have left the scene in a two-tone light blue over dark blue 1994 Mercury Villager older model van, but may LIKELY HAVE DISCARDED THIS VEHICLE and may be driving a blue, green or blue/green Toyota minivan.
Recent information suggests the suspect and victim are very likely in in East Texas or Western Louisiana. Officials warn the suspect may be seeking and entering charitable organizations for food.