(Department of Public Safety News Release)
ABILENE – A Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) traffic stop in Eastland County in December led to the recovery of a missing juvenile teenager, and the subsequent investigation has resulted in several sex crime charges against two suspects.
At approximately 11 a.m. on Dec. 10, 2016, a Trooper stopped a 2016 Chevrolet Impala traveling west on IH-20 for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, he encountered a juvenile male passenger not related to the driver. After a search of the vehicle, the Trooper discovered a small amount of methamphetamine and suspected child pornography on electronic devices in the vehicle.
DPS Special Agents and Eastland County Child Protective Services (CPS) were notified and responded to assist. The juvenile’s family was contacted and confirmed that the child was a runaway. The 16-year-old male passenger, of Hubbard, ultimately was released to CPS.
The driver, David Stephen Rhodes, 60, of Farwell, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (a state jail felony). The follow-up investigation led to Rhodes later being charged with sexual assault of a child in Parmer and Navarro counties, and aggravated sexual assault of a child in Hill County.
The follow-up investigation by DPS Special Agents also identified a second suspect not present during the traffic stop – Isaiah Allen, 23, of Waxahachie. Allen now faces charges of possession of child pornography in Dallas County; aggravated sexual assault of a child in Hill County; and sexual assault of a child in Navarro County.
Both suspects are currently in the Hill County jail and the investigation is ongoing.