DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Police officers and firefighters in Dallas combed through a heavily wooded area of west Oak Cliff on Wednesday morning, looking for two sisters who ran away from home on Tuesday afternoon.
The search — on the ground and in the air — involved a police helicopter and a specialized canine search and rescue team.
The girls were later found safe just before 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
The youngest sister, 9-year-old Adriana Castillo, had been considered a critical missing case because of her age. Her older sister, 11-year-old Ali Abrego, was also missing. Officials said that the older child had a cell phone with her, and eventually called her father. That helped police locate the children in the wooded area, just behind a metal fence.
"Our biggest concern is the weather. Even though it's not below freezing, it's cold and they left in their school clothes," Sgt. Warren Mitchell with the Dallas Police Department said, while authorities were still searching for the two girls. CBS 11 News saw the sisters just after they were found. They appeared to be in good condition, however, they were crying.
"Everybody's doing good," said uncle Ricky Castillo. "We're so happy we found them. They look good. They were scared. They look scared."
The sisters told friends that they were planning to run away from home. Their mother told KRLD that the two missing girls got in trouble for not cleaning prior to running away.
When their mother arrived at the family's apartment at around 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, she was concerned about the girls and called police. After investigating, officers were able to determine that the two ran off with a third girl, who later gave up and returned home. That girl informed the police that the sisters brought supplies and snacks, but no coats.
One of the sisters was wearing just a shirt, shorts and a backpack. The other sister was wearing a shirt, leggings and tennis shoes.
"We think that a decision was made by them to run away, just run away," added Mitchell. "We don't know why they ran away. We just know that they told another little girl that they were going to run away."