EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Kidnapped Odessa Girl Speaks Out

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Two young girls were taken from an Odessa apartment complex Friday night, sending parents into a panic.

The girls were found a few hours later at the same complex, but what happened to them while they were missing, has parents upset and outraged.

NewsWest 9 spoke exclusively with the parents of the children.

For families at the Sunchase Apartment Complex in Odessa, Friday evening started out just like every other weekend with kids playing outside.

"We usually come out and check on them, one of us is sitting out here," the mother of the one of the girls said. She did not want to be identified. "All our doors are open, even the patio doors so we can hear them and see them."

But it quickly turned into a nightmare for the mother.

"I went in to check on my dishwater," she said. "I came out and my daughter and my neighbor's daughter were missing. Just a whole bunch of fear, a lot of fear."

Police swarmed the apartment complex. They began knocking on doors and talking with neighbors for any sign of the five-year-old girls.

"Witnesses also had told us that they had seen the girls in the vicinity of a man who lived there at the apartment complex," Sgt. Sherrie Carruth with the Odessa Police Dept., said.

After three agonizing hours, officers found the girls walking in the apartment courtyard.

Police said 25-year-old Fernando Thomas had the girls holed up in his apartment.

"The girls were not touched or harmed in any way but he did expose himself to them," Carruth said.

Both of the girls were interviewed at Harmony Home and painted a picture of what exactly happened.

"He took a shower in front of them and he made them pick out his clothes," the girl's mother said. "They were extremely quiet. They didn't wanna say anything right then and there."

The little girls also said that when police knocked on Thomas' door, he told them to be quiet.

"Oh I'm very angry," the girl's mother said. "Very angry, upset, traumatized. I don't think he should be let out."

NewsWest 9 spoke with parents of the other child off camera. Both said the little girls didn't understand they were in danger.

"He did comfort them with candy and food and let them play in his mother's makeup," the mother said. "They're innocent. He knew what he was doing. There's no sympathy at all."

Now the mother is packing up and moving out because of what happened.

She said Thomas is lucky she didn't get to him first.

"He probably wouldn't have been living today," she said. "I know my baby will be hooked at my hip from now on."

The mother is leaving a warning for parents.

"Just keep your kids close to you,' she said. "Anything can happen within the blink of an eye."

Thomas is in the Ector County jail charged with two counts of kidnapping and indecency with a child.