Police in Round Rock, Texas, are searching for two missing girls who are believed to have been abducted from their home around the same time as their mother's suspicious death.
Authorities discovered 44-year-old Tonya Bates deceased in her home when they conducted a welfare check on Dec. 31. Her boyfriend and co-worker had both called police to check on Bates on Dec. 30, but police did not observe any suspicious activity that day, KEYE reports.
Bates was the mother of Lilianais Victoria Cake Griffith, 14, and Luluvioletta Mariposo Bandera-Margaret, 7, who were both missing from the home. An Amber Alert has been issued for their disappearance.
Terry Allen Miles, also 44, is a person of interest in Bates' death and a potential captor of the girls. He was Bates' roommate.
Miles was last seen in town on Dec. 30. Police initially believed he might have headed to Louisiana, but later said he was last seen in northern New Mexico or southern Colorado. He drives a gray 2017 Hyundai Accent with the Texas license plate JGH9845.
Bates' next-door neighbors said she and the children had moved in about two months ago, KVUE reports. One neighbor, James Reid, had not seen them since Dec. 28.
"They mostly weren't home," Reid said. "I mean, most of the time they were gone. They owned only one car so if that car was gone, there wasn't nobody there."
Reid said the only red flag he'd noticed occurred the week before Bates' death, when police allegedly knocked on his door in response to a domestic dispute, according to KEYE.
"[Police] thought it was us, but it wasn't us, so I guess it was next door," Reid said.
Round Rock police have not confirmed Reid's story.
Another neighbor said he had not seen the girls since Christmas morning on Dec. 25 and that he rarely saw their parents, the Austin-American Statesman reports.
Antonia Quilantang, another neighbor, said she was not aware of any disturbance or violence calls in the neighborhood. Her daughters had only briefly talked to the girls and had never met the mother. She occasionally saw Miles when he took out the trash or left for work.
"It seems like he is the father," she said. "But I've only seen him and the two girls mostly."
Miles is described as a white man who is approximately 6-foot-2-inches and 200 pounds. He has brown hair, hazel-colored eyes and a beard. He may wear glasses.
Lilianais is 5 feet tall and about 100 pounds, with brown eyes and light brown hair. Luluvioletta is 4-feet-5-inches and around 75 pounds. She has brown eyes and curly brown hair.
Anyone with information on Miles or the girls are encouraged to contact the Round Rock Police Department at 512-218-5516.